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Credit Card eZine - News and Articles about Credit Cards

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4 Easy Ways To Pay Down Debt

[August 16th, 2016]

If you’re in credit card debt and despairing of ever being able to pay it off, this article is for you. Being buried in debt is a terrible feeling, but no matter how much you owe, you can pay it off. All you need to do is have a strategy, and some patience.

Here are four ways to approach your debt-payment plan, so you’ll be free of debt and able to breathe easier:

1. Apply for a balance transfer credit card. This is a great thing to do if you have debt on high-interest credit cards. The first thing to do is determine which accounts are past due, how much you owe, and what your APR is on each card that has a balance. Then, decide which balances you’d like to transfer. Look for a card that offers a 0% APR promotional period of up to a year, so you have the most possible time to chip away at your debt without paying anything toward interest. Be aware that most balance transfer cards will charge a fee for the transfer; this fee is usually worth paying if you owe a lot of money at a high interest rate. The fee is usually 3% of the amount transferred, with a minimum of $10 or $15.
2. Pay off your highest APR cards first. If you don’t transfer balances, or don’t transfer all of your balances, the smartest thing to do is to pay the most you can toward your highest-interest cards. Be sure you still pay the minimums on all of your accounts, but if you have any extra money, put it toward your higher interest cards. This is the best strategy to get those high-interest balances paid down quicker. It doesn’t matter if these are your biggest balances or not; with this method, it only matters that these are the ones with the highest interest charges.
3. Pay off your smallest balances first. This is another strategy, which can be more rewarding and motivating than the high-interest payoff strategy. This way, you put any extra money after paying your minimums toward your smaller balances. You’ll pay down to zero quicker, which can make you feel like you’ve accomplished something. With this method, you’re not paying attention to the APR of the card, only to the balance. Although it may not be the most financially sound way to manage your payoff strategy, it does work for some people, and depending on your interest rates and how much you owe, it may work well for you.
4. Set up automatic payments. When you’re trying to pay off debt, it’s very important that you keep making all your payments on time. Set up automatic withdrawals from your checking account so that the minimum amount due is paid each month before the due date. Then, you can pay any extra that you have toward whichever card you’ve chosen. Note that if you’ve transferred any of your debt to a 0% APR promotional card, it’s extra important to pay your minimum due by the due date, as you could lose your 0% rate if you pay late.

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