How do I Get Out of Credit Card Debt Quickly?

Get serious about eliminating credit card debt.

Get serious about eliminating credit card debt.

Getting out of credit card debt quickly requires you to make some bold moves. Paying the minimum payment on your credit cards won't get you anywhere. Fortunately, there are things you can do to cut your credit card debt fast. For starters, you and your partner will have to stop spending on credit cards, as additional spending makes digging out of debt harder. Then, you'll need to put your negotiating and strategizing skills to work.

Figure out how deep in credit card debt you are by totaling the balance on all of your credit cards. Having a total will help you plan debt-eliminating strategies.

Get a debit card. One of the reasons people continue spending on nearly maxed-out credit cards is they want or need to use plastic. A debit card spends like a credit card but draws money from an account you fund. Unless your financial institution allows you to make repeated debit card overdrafts, it is hard to get into trouble this way.

Cut up your credit cards or put them in a safe storage space. If you are committed to getting out of credit card debt quickly, you should not make any new charges.

Request lower interest rates on your credit cards. The lower your interest rate, the more of your payment goes to eliminating debt.

Negotiate settlements with your credit card companies if you plan to close your credit card accounts. With a settlement, you pay less than the balance you owe and your account is closed without a negative balance. This does not look as good on your credit report as paying your entire balance, however.

Obtain a loan through which you can consolidate your credit card debt and pay it off all at once. You will still have the loan to repay, but it will be one debt rather than several. This option will only work well if you can obtain a loan with a low interest rate and pay it off quickly. Home equity and 401K loans can be good options for credit card debt elimination.

Transfer high-interest credit card debt to lower-interest credit cards. This allows you to allocate more of your payment amounts to your credit card principal. Zero percent balance transfer deals are particularly helpful for repaying debts.

Snowball your way to credit card debt elimination. Pay off the card that charges the highest interest first. Move down the list of all your credit cards until you reach the last and lowest-interest card.

File bankruptcy only as a last resort. This is one way to get out of credit card debt and start fresh. Unfortunately, a discharged bankruptcy stays on your credit report for 10 years.

Tip

  • Seek credit counseling if your debts are out of control. Nonprofit organizations offer it for free.

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