Whether you’ve made a new year’s resolution to get your credit in order or simply want to create a better financial plan for yourself overall, there are a few ways you can reduce your credit card debt. Making some simple adjustments to your finances can get you on the road to better credit and financial stability so you can accomplish more of your goals.
First, you’ll need to make a detailed list of the credit cards you have and how much you owe on each card. Be sure to write down the APR for each card as well. You can use an online credit card repayment calculator to determine how much you can pay on each credit card each month.
Determine Your Budget
Look for practical ways to reduce the amount you spend each month so you can put that money toward your credit card bills. Whether you decide to shop for generic brands at the grocery store or refraining from going shoe shopping for a few months, figure out how you can set aside a substantial amount of money to take care of your debt.
Reduce Your APR
If you have credit cards with a high APR, there are ways to lower the APR so you don’t spend too much money on interest. Call your credit card company or bank and inquire about how to make your APR lower. If the bank or credit card company doesn’t agree to change your rate, you can transfer your credit card debt to a balance transfer card. Just make sure that balance transfer card has a 0% APR initially. It’s also important to make sure that the card accepts balance transfers at no charge. Make sure that you can pay most of your debt off before the initial offer for the balance transfer card expires.
Pay More Than the Minimum
Even if you’re paying an extra $5 or $10 per month on your credit card bill, make sure that you’re paying more than the minimum balance. Each month, check your statement to determine how much you’ll need to pay monthly to reduce the time it will take to pay off your debt.
Stop Using Your Card
If you find that you use the credit card too much and don’t budget accurately when making credit card purchases, start using cash for your purchases. Reserve your credit card for emergencies only. Using cash will help you see exactly how much you’re spending and making cash purchases means you won’t have to pay interest. Once you trust yourself more with your money management, you can start incorporating your credit card back into your spending little by little.