With all their debts combined, it equates to about $13.21 trillion. The age group with the largest debt is the 45-54 group, with $134,600 average debt per person.
If you too have some problems with debt, whether it’s large or small, you need to learn better credit card management. After all, the lack of accountability will be your express pass to a life of debt.
Are you ready to learn some good credit card tips? Read on and find out more today.
Credit Card Management Tips
A lot of people are content to ignore their unmanaged credit card debt. But the problem is that this will haunt all your financial decisions moving forward. That’s why it’s important to deal with it, even when it looks like a daunting task.
You have the means of paying it off without losing order and dignity. To do this, you need to do some credit card management strategies. Here are some:
1. Make More than the Minimum Payment
Most credit card companies prefer that you only pay enough to get by each month. If you go by this rate, you’re just paying off the interest without making substantial reductions to the actual debt. Check your recent credit card statements and see your actual monthly interest.
Make it a point to budget as much payment as you can over that amount. That will help you see an actual difference to your next statements. Creditors will always want you to pay the interest before anything else, that’s why you need to know it before you calculate how much above the minimum you should pay first.
Making the minimum payment only often keeps your interest from sending you to financial ruin. Always make sure that your monthly payment will go beyond the interest to attack the principal sum.
2. Pay Off Debt with the Highest Interest Rate First
This is one of the obvious things you can do, but a lot of people don’t seem to get it. Focus all your attention to the debt that has the highest Annual Percentage Rate (APR). Make sure to pay it all off before even start touching your other debts.
The other smaller debts will get interest in the meantime. But if you’re going to pay interest, either way, you’ll have an easier time paying off debts once you finish paying off the high-interest ones. A good alternative is the snowball method, where you pay the smallest amount first regardless of their interest.
If all your interest rates are relatively the same, make the minimum payments on everything except the one with the smallest balance. Make aggressive payments to ensure that it’s gone as soon as possible. Once it disappears, you need to add the next payments to the next-lowest debt until it disappears too.
Repeat this process until you’re done clearing out all your debts. You’ll feel this sense of satisfaction each month once you start making fewer payments. This helps the entire process become more bearable and helps in achieving your goal of managing debt.
3. Talk to Your Credit Card Companies
It won’t hurt to talk to your credit card company about your financial situation. Most won’t advertise about helping, but in most cases, they’ll give some aid. They might lower your interest rate for a set timeframe or waive the late fees to help in catching up.
When talking to your company, mention that you’re a long-time customer if you are. Some companies might not care about customer loyalty, but a lot more do. There are some reputable businesses out there that will go through the extra mile to keep you happy and loyal.
If you don’t succeed at first, try asking for someone higher up the chain to talk to you. Speak with a supervisor if you can’t make any agreements with the first person. If it doesn’t do the trick, try talking to the retention department instead.
To make the most out of your negotiations, always come prepared. Gather a list of other offers you get and know the terms surrounding your interest rates. Look at their competitors’ rates and work from there.
4. Don’t Close Down Cards That Still Have Balances
This is an easy solution to handle your credit card debt. But its long-term effects are terrifying since it will destroy your credit score. Either way, you’re not off the hook for the debt.
What this move will do is to put down your credit utilization further, smearing your credit score even more. That’s why you need to pay it off as fast as you can if you intend to close that particular credit account. Ensure that the company records reflect that you closed the account, not them.
Write this request and give it to your credit card company. To be on the safe side, keep some copies for yourself. Speaking of credit card companies, you can read this guide about the Fingerhut credit card and learn more.
5. Move Debts Around
Transferring money from credit cards with interest rates higher than 10% to a card with 0% can damage your credit at the short-term. But your finances will suffer in the long-term if you keep on chipping away at a high-interest card. Always stay vigilant for long-term transfer opportunities with little to no interest rates.
You can also try transferring some of your debt to an existing low-interest card. But it’s important to think about your total debt and your financial means of paying it off. Depending on your situation, a 0% interest rate for six months might not be ideal compared to a 2% rate for 18 months.
Learn Credit Card Management Today!
When you’re in a financial crisis, it’s important to learn how to manage your finances. It’s easy to forget restraint when you have a credit card. But don’t succumb to the temptation and let loose since it’s the highway to financial ruin.
Did you enjoy reading this guide? Looking for more credit card management and debt guides? If so, try reading our other posts and learn other financial tips and tricks.
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