Debt Reduction: Paying Down Your Credit Card

By: Peter Kenny

Many credit cardholders who have racked up tremendous debt become lost concerning the ways to eliminate this financially crippling burden. Yet, the truth is that the methods for eliminating this form of debt are not that difficult to implement if you take the time to learn what they are. Obviously, paying down that credit card debt will take some work and not a small amount of creativity and perseverance to see it through to the end.

With all of that said, there are a few obvious points you need to take to heart and then put into practice if you are going to make a serious effort at getting your mountainous credit card debt under control. Take a look at the following strategies to determine the right one for you. Decide which one will do the most as far as eliminating your consumer debt. Perhaps, all of them will need to be employed in some fashion while you attempt to get the card balance down to an acceptable level.

First, just stop using the cards entirely. Decide that you are not going use the credit card to incur more debt. If you place restrictions one spending, you will put a halt to the process. Of course, this by itself will not eliminate the debt it is a first step.

The real work of reducing that card debt happens when you concentrate your efforts on lowering that balance. With the interest rate being what it is, the only way that you will be able to make a dent in your balance is to pay more than what is required monthly. Simply by determining how much you can pay above the minimum balance each month whether it is $20, $50, or $100 over, you will begin to see some results. Your balance will drop so long as you remember to put the card away and not use it again.

If you begin to see results, you may be tempted to start spending again once the balance reaches a lower point. Resist this urge. Better still, you should make a concerted effort to change your spending habits permanently so that the credit card becomes a last resort rather than a regular means to make payments and other expenditures. This is easier to say, but harder to do for many people.

You will have to make adjustments in your spending habits. To do this, find out what you typically use the credit card for and decide if you can eliminate those commonplace uses and replace them with money you actually have in your bank account. (Obviously, if you don't have cash in your account, you really should be spending money that you don't have any way!) The card should be used in the case of emergencies and occasionally they can be useful when you are making big item purchases.

There are many challenges associated with credit card debt, but if you want out from under it, you must decide to change the way you use it, stopping using the card entirely if necessary, and plan to pay more than necessary to get the balance down.

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