Best Way to Pay Off Credit Card Debt

Look for ways to save money, and apply your savings to your debt.

Look for ways to save money, and apply your savings to your debt.

You may have been somewhat reckless when it came to using your credit cards during college. You might have gone just a tad overboard with your wedding accoutrements. Whatever you did to accumulate your credit card debt, make a plan, stick to it, and your credit card debt will be gone in no time.

Step 1

List your credit cards, and write down how much you owe on each one and how much the interest rate is on each card.

Step 2

Stop using your credit cards. If you want to pay off your credit card debt, you won’t be able to if you are accumulating new debt.

Step 3

Pick a method. The two ways most financial advisors suggest to get out of credit card debt are the snowball method or the avalanche approach. With the snowball method, you start small by paying off the smallest credit card debt first. That gets the ball rolling as you move on to paying off the next biggest debt amount. Keep doing this, and you will have the strength to tackle your monster card. The avalanche approach tackles the high-interest rate cards first.

Step 4

Trim your daily expenses to give you more money to pay toward your debt. The $10 a day approach is one way to make bigger payments on your credit cards. Think of ways you can save just $10 a day. Maybe you can bring your lunch to work or forgo the coffee of the day at your favorite coffee house. Start using coupons for purchases. If you try, you’ll probably be able to put away some extra cash every day to apply to your monthly credit card bill.

Tips

  • Financial adviser Dave Ramsey likes the snowball approach best because he believes paying off credit cards is mostly psychological. By paying off a card with a small balance, you feel victorious and are ready for the next challenge. This method sets you up to win.
  • The avalanche approach is mathematically better for you than the snowball method because it allows you to get rid of the high-interest rate cards as soon as possible. If you are disciplined and don’t need the faster gratification of the snowball method, you should choose to pay as much as you can afford on the credit card with the highest interest rate, while paying the minimum on any other cards.

About the Author

Laura Agadoni has been writing professionally since 1983. Her feature stories on area businesses, human interest and health and fitness appear in her local newspaper. She has also written and edited for a grassroots outreach effort and has been published in "Clean Eating" magazine and in "Dimensions" magazine, a CUNA Mutual publication. Agadoni has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from California State University-Fullerton.

Photo Credits

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