Simple Steps for Getting Out of Credit Card Debt

By: Peter Kenny

With the number of credit card offers that the average American home receives every year, and the fact that the average American is about $8000 in credit card debt, it is not difficult to see how quickly consumers can get deep into debt with credit cards. Although it's not easy, there are some simple steps that can be taken to begin to decrease your credit card debt and to begin to gain control of your spending and finances once again.

To begin, look at the latest statement for each of your credit cards and check the balances on them. Then check the interest rate you are being charged by each of these cards. Some creditors can charge up to 21% or more in interest annually. If you find that you are carrying a balance on one or more of these high interest rate cards, and you are only paying the minimum required payment each month, it may take you years to pay the balance off. Not only that, but when the iniital balance is finally paid off, you will actually have paid many times the initial charges when you consider all of the interest paid during this time.

The next step you must take to avoid this scenerio is to consolidate your debt. If you are carrying a balance on a high interest rate card, begin looking for a card that offers a lower interest rate.

If you are carrying balances on more than one card, look for a credit card that offers an introductory rate of 0% on balance transfers. Apply for one of these cards and transfer your existing balances to this new card. Now you have anywhere from 6-15 months (depending on the new card's terms) to work on paying down your balance without worrying about added interest charges. However, be sure to ask about any transfer fees involved before opening one of these new credit card accounts.

The final key is to stop all unnecessary spending and increase the payments to your credit cards as much as possible.

Above all else, avoid paying only the minimum required monthly payment. This is the worst thing you can do. Continue to pay off as much as possible every month while reducing your spending as much as possible and you will find your debt beginning to decline until you are finally out of credit card debt entirely

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