Top 4 Ways to Get Out of Credit Card Debt

Bogged down in the dark and bottomless abyss of impending debts? We all know the drill. You promise yourself that this is the last time you’re using your credit card this month. Soon after, follows a series of “necessary” and “unavoidable” expenses that, yet again, thrusts you deeper into never-ending debts.

According to the Federal Reserve, total U.S. outstanding credit card balances were $884.8 billion as of January 2015. On average, a U.S. citizen adult has about $5,689 more in credit card debt than his or her parents at the same stage of life. In the midst of this debt obsessed world, what are you doing to get out? Here are 4 ways:


1. Consistent Debt Reduction

This is a DIY approach where you make certain amounts of payments to your credit card company regularly. You could choose primarily between two strategies: the snowball method or the more aggressive, avalanche approach.

With the snowball method, you start steady and slow, paying off the debts with the smallest balance. The avalanche approach, on the other hand, means you begin addressing the debt with the highest interest first, pay it off, and then move on to the next highest.


2. Debt Consolidation

Managing multiple debts can be both, expensive and challenging. Debt consolidation is the method where a debtor combines multiple smaller debts into a single, new large one. That is, you take another personal loan, pay off the credit card debts, and then focus all your efforts into paying off that single new loan, monthly. The only danger here; however, is that debt consolidation may give you the false impression that you’ve solved the problem. And before you know it, you could be pulling out the plastic again.


3. Stash Away Your Plastic Till You Pay Off the Debts

In 2000, some MIT researchers conducted a covert experiment on two groups. They offered a sports game ticket for auction sale to two groups of people: one paying in cash, the other in credit card. It was observed that individuals who owned credit cards were willing to pay twice as much as those who were paying in cash.

The morale? You are much more contemplative about your spending when you’re paying in cash. So it’s perhaps healthy if you keep your credit cards away till you pay off the debt. Instead, opt for old fashioned cash.


4. Debt Settlement

If you feel that your balance is too high for you to pay off within a specific duration, let’s say 5 years, you could consider approaching your creditor to negotiate settlement. They could either agree to a lower payment or shoot a few percentage points off your interest, which could be a few hundred dollars saved per month.

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