Struggling with credit card debt can cast a black cloud over every aspect of your life. The longer you stay in debt, the more damage you’ll end up doing to your credit rating. That in turn will make it harder to get a loan in the future for important borrowing like a home mortgage. Not to mention that fact that debts limit your spending power in the present, restrict your options, and generally have a negative effect on your emotions and outlook.
So it pays to get on top of your debts as soon as possible – but how? Here are a few tips you can start applying today to turn your debt situation around.
Negotiate with Your Lender
In many cases you can actually negotiate with your credit card company in order to make paying your debt easier. There are several options available here – for example, you may be able to have your interest rate lowered. You may be able to extend the period you have to pay before you start incurring more penalties, or you may be able to have some fees waived altogether. In any case, the first step is to contact your lender and see if there’s a way you can reduce the burden of the debt.
Pay the Most Expensive Debt First
If you have multiple credit card bills, you need to work out which one is costing your the most in interest and focus solely on paying that bill first. That’s the fastest strategy for paying off the debt. You know to work out which bill is costing you the most in interest – the sooner you pay that bill, the less interest you’ll incur and the lower the overall amount you have to pay back will be.
Make Debts the Priority
Often people end up in credit card debt to begin with because they can’t manage their money and try to live beyond their means. If you have bad financial habits, they’re the reason you’re in debt – and they’ll keep you in debt if you don’t change them. You’ll need to develop the self-discipline to say no to non-essentials until you have your debts handled. If you’re in debt, don’t go spending money on concert tickets and most definitely don’t take on any more debts.
Debt should only be used for things that will help you get to a better financial position in the future – things like buying a house, starting a business or getting an education. If you take out a new debt every time you want to buy a consumer item on impulse – new shoes, a car, a holiday – you’ll just keep digging yourself into a deeper hole.
Credit card debt may seem like it’s impossible to beat, but with a few phone calls to your credit card company and a change in your financial habits and mindset, you can start turning your life around from today.