Maybe you ran into some tough times and had to rely on your credit cards to make ends meet. Or maybe you just got a little too reckless with your spending, and now you’re in over your head. Whatever the case may be, if you’re buried under a mountain of credit card debt, it’s time to start taking steps to get yourself out. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to a debt-free life in no time.
Create a Budget
The first step to getting out of credit card debt is creating a budget. Consumer.gov says you need to know how much money you have coming in and going out every month to figure out how much you can realistically put toward your debt. Once you have a budget, stick to it! It might be tough at first, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Stop Using Your Cards
This may seem like common sense, but it’s important to stop using your credit cards if you’re trying to get out of debt. Every time you purchase with your card, you’re adding to the amount that you owe. If you can’t trust yourself not to use your cards, cut them up or hide them away, so they’re not tempted.
Pay With Cash
There are pros and cons to both financing purchases and paying in cash. Experian, the company that knows everything about our financial lives, financing can help you get special offers and rewards, but it might mean you owe money. Cash purchases can help you avoid debt, but you might have to wait to buy something.
And sometimes when you wait, you realize that you really didn’t want that purchase anyway. Merchants encourage credit cards because they make it easy to fall for urgency tactics(Buy now! It will be gone tomorrow!).
Start Making More Than the Minimum Payment
According to Symple Lending, if you only make the minimum payment on your credit cards each month, it will take forever to get out of debt. Try to double or even triple the amount that you’re paying every month, and you’ll see a dramatic decrease in the amount of time it takes to pay off your balance. Just make sure that you don’t charge anything else on the card while you’re trying to pay it off!
You Can Do This!
Paying off credit card debt can seem like an impossible task, but it’s definitely not impossible. By following these steps and staying disciplined, you’ll be rid of your debt before you know it. And then you can start working towards other financial goals, like saving up for a house or retirement. So what are you waiting for? Start today!