When it comes to credit card debt, Pennsylvania has some of the highest levels in the U.S. Indeed, the Keystone State ranks fourth nationally when it comes to consumer credit card debt, with the average household owing around $6,065. If this sounds familiar and you are in over your head with credit card debt, then, you’re not alone. Arming yourself with tips about how to pay off credit card debt more quickly—and about how debt consolidation loans Pennsylvania can help.
1. Set Up a Budget
You can’t fix a problem without understanding the scope of it. Set up a budget to track your spending for a few weeks to a month. This should allow you to pinpoint areas where you can cut spending.
2. Ditch Pricey Habits
By tracking your spending, you can more easily see where seemingly small expenses add up over time. Identify expensive daily habits like designer lattes and eliminate them until you get your credit card debt under control. Things like cable TV and online subscriptions are other areas where spending can often be cut.
3. Focus on High-Interest Debts First
As you rein in your spending, you will want to start chipping away at your existing debt. To eliminate credit card debt as efficiently and effectively as possible, it’s smart to focus on the cards with the highest interest rates first. That way, you can start paying off the principal balance and stop accruing such high interest charges.
4. Stop Using Your Credit Cards for Now
Even if you get nice rewards from some of your credit cards, put them away and stop using them for the time being. Limit yourself to only paying for the things that you need with cash. The sooner that you stop adding to the debt that is on those cards, the sooner that you will be able to make a real dent in your existing debt.
5. Pay More Than the Minimum Amount Due
The minimum amount that is typically due with a monthly credit card statement only represents about 2 to 3 percent of the total balance in most cases. Paying only the minimum amount due means paying more interest charges and holding on to that debt for a lot longer. Aim to pay more than the minimum amount that is due for all of your cards every month. Consider making weekly payments instead of monthly ones to whittle it down more quickly.
6. Sell Unwanted Belongings
Do a thorough inventory of your home and everything that you own. Odds are that there are plenty of things that you don’t really use anymore but that may hold value for others. Through garage sales and online sales, sell what you can. Put the proceeds toward paying off more of your credit card debt.
7. Apply Extra Cash Toward Credit Card Debt
Any time that cash unexpectedly falls into your lap, don’t run out and spend it. Instead, apply it toward your credit card debt. For example, if you receive a bonus at work or a nice tax refund, use it to pay off a nice chunk of your debt.
8. Reward Yourself for Milestones
At the beginning of the process of paying off your credit card debt, establish goals for yourself and then reward yourself when you meet them. For example, you might decide to reward yourself for every $500 of debt that you are able to eliminate. This will keep you motivated to keep going, and it will allow you to really see and appreciate the progress that you are making.
9. Look Into Transferring Credit Card Balances
If you can acquire a credit card that offers a low introductory interest rate for balance transfers, you might try transferring as much of your debt to that card. However, you will need to be able to pay off the entire balance before the introductory period expires, or you will most likely be charged a high interest rate retroactively.
10. Sign Up for Debt Consolidation
As nice as it would be to handle that mountain of credit card debt on your own, the truth is that a little help can go a really long way. A great way to get a handle on out-of-control credit card debt is through debt consolidation loans Pennsylvania. When combined with debt settlement services, it may allow you to pay lower interest charges; to avoid future late fees and penalties; and to pay off your debt a lot more quickly and easily.
If you are ready to pay off credit card debt now, Christian Debt Counselors is ready to help. We specialize in providing debt consolidation loans Pennsylvania that let you get out from under large amounts of credit card debt more efficiently and effectively. We are here to help, so give us a call today to get started.