Credit Cards

Credit Card Debt? Kick it to the Curb with These Simple Steps

A recent report revealed that the credit card debt delinquency rate has fallen by over 50% since the financial crisis in the United States first broke out a few years ago. While this is great news, it still leaves a lot of room for improvement, no matter where you live, what you make, or who you are.

If you’re living with credit card debt, you’re living with a burden inflicted by your past that threatens to impact your future. Why not free yourself from the chains of credit card debt and move towards living your life in a sustainable, financially stable way? If you’re currently struggling with any amount of credit card debt, here are a few simple steps to take so you can get on a path to paying it off and keeping those balances zeroed–for good…

Take the Cards out of Commission

This is the simplest step towards cutting out your credit card debt, but it’s often one of the most difficult to follow through with. It takes a steadfast commitment to yourself and your finances to be able to stop racking up credit card debt if that’s the only thing you’ve known how to do. Once you’re set on wanting to rid yourself of credit card debt, the absolute first step is to stop.using.the.cards. Whether it’s cutting them up, putting them in the freezer, enlisting the help of a friend to keep you in check/give you reminders, figure out a way to go cold turkey on your spending.

Face the Music

Once you’ve made the decision to stop racking up further debts, you need to face the reality of your situation. Take your head out of the sand by pulling out all of the statements and creating a list of what’s owed, the interest rates, due dates, etc. I’m a fan of putting this list in a prominent place where you’ll see it daily so you’re reminded of what you need to tackle, but I realize this might be an extreme step for some. Regardless of where you put the list, make sure you keep it up to date as you go along so you’re able to see you progress, too!

Enlist an Army

Some things indeed take a village. Paying off credit card debt can be one of those–you shouldn’t be afraid to lean on family and friends for support as you work your way to that zero balance. As you keep working, friends and family can be a great source of inspiration, can give you reminders when you need them, and they can help you remember the progress you’re making if times get tough (which they most likely will!).

On the flip side, you should also take care to eliminate the pressure of being around people who might not understand your choice to change your habits. If you have any debt enablers, take a few steps back to give yourself the space you need to attack this challenge with strength and clarity.

What steps have you taken to pay off your debts?

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5 Responses to Credit Card Debt? Kick it to the Curb with These Simple Steps

  1. Good stuff! Also, I think for most people most of the time, a Debt Management Plan administered by a nonprofit credit counseling agency is the very best way to get rid of a mound of credit card debt. Under a DMP, APRs are reduced and accounts are “re-aged” so that you’re no longer delinquent (if you were) and collection calls will stop. You make one fixed monthly payment to the agency–which distributes chunks to your credit card providers (who are all on board with your DMP plan)–and pay off all of your credit cards in 3-5 years. It’ll take some discipline and hard work, but it’s the best way to pay off all your debts with the least cash, I think.

    • Sure! A DMP can make sense for some people who are in serious trouble–I wouldn’t say it’s a solution for everyone across the board, but it’s certainly a great idea if the situation is really out of control!

  2. DMPs is definitely an option to get out of a mountain of credit card debt. But, definitely find one that is reputable. Not all administrators of DMPs are the same but the plans offered by credit card companies are the same across all DMP plans.

    I used debt avalanche method to pay off debt. I started with the smallest balance and worked my way to the largest amount. It kept me motivated.

    I also think its important for people to find other ways to make additional money they can add to the debt repayment.

  3. Great tips! I’m so glad that I kicked the credit card debt habit back when I was still in college

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