How to Pay off Credit Card Debt Quickly
Paying off credit card debt is tough. Most people swipe their cards without a second thought. You’ll “pay it off later,” you think. You’ve got plenty of time before the bill comes.Going into credit card debt is easy. The truth is, racking up a high balance can happen quicker than you think. But figuring out how to pay off credit card debt quickly is another story.
And with the average US household having over $16,000 in credit card debt, this stuff is no laughing matter.
Even if you don’t have that much credit card debt, paying them off is still a smart move with lots of benefits — like improving your credit score.
Luckily, there are some simple steps you can take to start knocking out your credit card debt without sacrificing your social life. It won’t all be sunshine and roses, but you’ll thank yourself when your debt is gone.
Keep reading to learn how to pay off credit card debt quickly without giving up your social life.
Stop using your cards
This first step should be a no-brainer. If you want to pay off your debt, you need to stop using your credit cards immediately.
The same thinking should apply to your cards. If you want to really know how to pay off credit card debt quickly, you’ve got to start by laying off the plastic.
Even if your cards have great features, like airline miles or lots of points, you’re still probably paying way more in interest than you’ll ever see in rewards.
Pay more than your minimum
This step should go without saying.
If you really want to know how to pay off credit card debt quickly, you’ve got to pay more than the minimum payment.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, the credit card companies really do not have your best interests in mind. From massively high interests rates to high fees–it’s all set up to benefit them.
The same goes for the minimum payments. If you look at the details on your bill, you’ll probably notice that the minimum payment is only slightly higher than the interest you pay each month.
How are you ever going to pay off the card if you’re only paying a few dollars each month toward the actual balance?
The lesson here: always pay more than the minimum balance on the cards you’re trying to pay off.
Get on a budget
What gets measured gets done. The old cliche is as true today as it ever was. Especially with your money.
If you don’t know where your money is going, it’s hard to manage it and channel it toward your debt.
Start by getting a handle on what you owe. Get all your statements together and assess the damage. Once you start putting your budget together, make sure paying down your credit cards is a top priority.
Set your priorities—and stick with them
This is probably the hardest part of the process: determining your spending priorities and sticking to them no matter what.
Most people stop here. They think that there’s no way to have fun or a social life while focusing all their extra cash on getting out of debt.
While that may be the case in very serious situations, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, creating a budget and setting some priorities can actually free you up to have more fun with your money in the long run.
If you can get your debt out of the way quickly, you’ll have more spending money in the end. Plus, if you’re on a budget, you can budget money for paying off debt and having fun right now.
Choose a strategy
While it would definitely be nice, it’s not likely that you’ll be able to pay off all your cards at once.
If you have more than one credit card, it’s best to tackle them one at a time. Rather than spreading your extra cash out across several different credit cards, pick a card to focus on. When you’re done with that one, move on to the next.
There are two common strategies for choosing what cards to pay off first:
- Pay off the lower balance cards first, working your way up to your larger debts
- Pay the higher interest cards first, eliminating the massive interest payments you make each month more quickly.
Both strategies have their pros and cons. Ultimately, you’ll have to choose which one works best for you. But picking one will help give some more structure to your debt pay down strategy.
Pick up a side hustle
Making a little extra money on the side could also give you some extra spending money while you’re focusing on getting rid of the debt.
The options are nearly endless as far as side hustles go. Your best bet when looking for one is to think about your own skills and work experience.
Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Use your skills or hobbies–from writing to photography, there are tons of options here.
Amazon Mechanical Turk
This popular micro-tasking service allows you to make a few extra bucks here and there, just don’t expect to get rich doing it.
Sell Items Online
Buy and flip items on Craigslist or eBay.
Watch This Short Informative Video For Tips on How to Payoff Your Debt
You know how to pay off credit card debt quickly
Now, it’s your turn. Hopefully, you’ve got a few ideas to get you started with getting rid of your debt.
Getting out of debt is never easy, but committing to a plan and getting started is half the battle. Once you get going it does get easier.
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