How to Reduce Credit Card Debt

by : R. Barnes

You may be surprised to learn how easy it can be to reduce your credit card debt. With the average American household carrying $8400 in credit card debt a simple reduction plan could save thousands of dollars.

Step 1: The first thing you want to do to reduce your credit card debt is find out exactly how much money you owe on your credit cards. Then find out how much you are paying in interest yearly. For example, if you a paying $50 in finance charges on one credit card each month and $40 on another you are paying $1,080 in finance charges alone each year. Learning how much money you are paying in interest is usually enough to motivate most card holders to reduce their credit card debt.

Step 2: Once you have this information you can then decide whether to consolidate your debt to your credit card with the lowest interest rate or get a new balance transfer credit card with a low APR or lower interest rate. By transferring the balance to a lower interest rate credit card you can save thousands of dollars in interest. Please keep in mind that this is only a temporary solution. If you transfer the combined balances to a low interest credit card you must destroy the old credit cards and close the accounts so that you do not use them again. This is very important. If you transfer your balances to a new low interest credit card, then run the balances up again on the old credit cards you have committed the ultimate debt sin.

Note: If you are unable to qualify for a low APR credit card or balance transfer credit card contact each of your credit card issuers and request an interest rate reduction. Explain to them that you are having trouble paying your bills and would like their assistance with finding a reasonable solution. If you are successful, simply transfer your credit card debt to the credit card with the lowest interest rate.

After you have transferred your combined balances to a single low interest rate credit card you will want to create a weekly budget. The only way to pay down your debt is to pay your bills on time, and to pay more than the minimum amount due. This can be easily done by paying your credit card bill weekly. If you create a weekly budget that includes all of your expenses such as rent, mortgages, loans, phone bills, etc. you will discover exactly how much you can pay.

Step 3: Credit card interest accrues daily not monthly. Therefore paying your bill each week will greatly reduce the amount of overall interest you will pay. Since your balance will be slightly smaller each week, you will be charged less interest on that smaller balance than if you continued to make a single monthly payment. You can figure out your weekly payment by using your monthly minimum. For example if your monthly minimum payment is $50 then you will want to pay as much as you can above $50. If you determine you can pay $60 then you simply pay a fixed $15 each week even after the balance decreases. You can pay more if you are able; however do not begin paying less when you notice a smaller minimum payment. Continue to pay this fixed amount until the debt is paid off.

You can tailor this weekly payment method to suit your needs. You can have your weekly checks all written out and simply drop them in the mail each week, or you can have the funds automatically deducted from your checking or savings account each week. Just think of the fun and excitement you will have as your credit card debt is reduced.