Now that the holidays are over, the bills come. And, wow, can they hurt! While it would be nice to think that everybody could simply pay off their bills and be done, the fact is that more people than not carry credit card debt, which means that they pay credit card interest every month.
Credit card interest rates are among the highest rates most consumers will pay, but this doesn’t mean that you’ll be in that situation forever (though the credit card companies would certainly like you to be).
Here are six ways that will help reduce your monthly credit card interest payments, and help get you away from that cycle of credit card debt.
- Stop charging – This may seem simple, but it’s often overlooked. Some will say that avoiding the use of your credit card is impossible, but it’s not. Yes, it may require some sacrifices and tough choices, but it can be done. And, if it is done, then as you make payments, your interest amount will gradually decline.
- Pay extra – Don’t just make the minimum payments. Make the maximum payments that you can comfortably afford. The impact will be greater than most can hope to make even in the best performing stock market, so throw your money at it and watch the monthly interest amount decline.
- Call your credit card companies – Many times your credit card companies will respond to a request for a lower rate by…lowering it. Your chances will be greatly helped if you’ve had the credit card for a long time, have not missed any payments, and have a good credit score. Speaking of which…
- Improve your credit score – If you haven’t obtained your credit report or credit score in a while, it might be a good time to do so. Credit reports can be gotten for free annually, and credit scores can even be free if you look around. Getting your score up around 700 or higher will open up a world of possibilities in terms of lower interest rate cards, or even getting your credit card company to say yes, if they didn’t the first time.
- Balance transfer – Many card companies will let you transfer a balance at a substantially lower rate. If you then make the same (or greater) payments that you were making before, you’ll put more of your payment toward principle, further knocking down the interest and letting you pay the card off sooner.
- Consolidate your credit – Getting a debt consolidation loan can be tricky and it’s not for everyone, and it does provide extra risks, but it can substantially lower your interest rate. If you go this route, you should definitely get the advice of a professional.
Readers, have you used any of these strategies to accelerate and/or eliminate your credit card debt? Please share your success stories on these tips or any others that you might have below.
Thank you for reading.