Pay off your credit cards with these simple suggestions
Every day, my mailbox is inundated with credit card applications from every piece of plastic you can imagine. Discover, Visa, America Express, Mastercard – you name it. And I simply open them (so I know for sure what I’m throwing away), rip them up and toss them. Did I mention that I hate credit?
But the truth of the matter is that sometimes, credit is unavoidable. When cash is not readily available and there’s no getting around it, we often turn to plastic. As a result, many of us have found ourselves in debt, whether honorably (school loans, mortgages, car loans, etc.) or dishonorably (personal loans, store credit cards, etc….). Whatever the case may be, the sooner you get rid of your credit card debt, the sooner you can breathe easier. The truth of the matter is that the very design of credit is such that you stay buried in it. With interest accruing daily, the amount you originally ‘borrowed’ often becomes two times that much by the time you finish paying it off. So, in order to get rid of this type of debt, one has to be unyielding with the following suggestions.
Do not pay only the minimum due! The minimum due is essentially the companies’ best bet on milking you of all the money they can before your debt is complete. If you can afford it, pay 2 or three times what your minimum is to cut off some the interest being added to your total. If you can pay it off right away, even better. In most cases, the initial amount is manageable. But the fees, interest, etc which are added often take an affordable amount and create a monster out of it.
Don’t be so quick to throw away those annoying credit card applications. Be on the hunt for a better deal. Scrutinize every application you see looking for no yearly fees, reduced interest rates, offers for 18 to 24 months interest free, etc. If you have a debt of $5,000, for example, and know that you can pay it off in 2 years with discipline, transferring it to a card that offers you no interest for the first 2 years is a great option. For the next 2 years, your balance will not increase. So, every payment you make goes directly to cutting down your balance instead of paying off added interest as well. And if you add more to your minimum due, you’re even closer to being debt free.
When using, have a pay-off plan in mind. While I have always hated the idea of credit, some cards do have their benefits. Bank of America had a card that offered 1% cash back on everything, 2% back on gas and 3% back on groceries. Considering that we all use these three categories, it could easily be worth it. But one has to be diligent in paying off anything that is charged. Use the credit card for the perks and points. But, be extremely conscientious in paying for the item charged. If you buy a suit on Monday for $107.48, then later that same Monday, go online and pay 107.48 onto the card. By waiting, the great deal you got on the suit becomes a moot point because by the time you pay it off, the suit actually costs you more than $200, which was not the advertised sale price.
Credit is the enemy only if you let it be. Train yourself and you can make it work for your good.