Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Credit Card Debt: Several Tips to Help You Pay Down Your Credit Card Debt

This is the first part of the article.

Summer vacation is just around the corner and you're still trying to pay off that holiday buying spree. Your credit cards are just about maxed out. Is there anything you can do? Yes. Here are tips for help pay off credit card debt.

It may seem extreme but the first thing you need to do is to put those credit cards away where you can't get at them easily. Only carry one card with you and use it only for emergencies. A café latte isn't an emergency even if you're tired and are having a caffeine attack. Either is being low on gas. An emergency means that you've had an accident and need medical care. Or your roof caved in.

Now drag out the most recent credit card statement for each account you have. If you have a student loan, store credit, bought furniture on time, or other unsecured loans get those statements out as well.

Make a chart listing the name of the account, interest rate, minimum payment, outstanding balances, and payment due date. Add all the minimum payments together to see what your total debt payment is each month. And add all the outstanding balances together as well. You might be shocked to see just how much money you owe and how much you have to pay each month.

Let's say for example that you're like the average family with $10,000 of credit card debt. If you only make the minimum payments it could take you up to 20 years to pay off that $10,000 because of the very high interest rates credit cards carry. If you have 5 cards each with a minimum payment of $50, you'll be paying $250.00 every month and not making much progress towards whittling down your balances.

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