These days, it is very common for people to max out on their credit cards and other sources of debt. The more you seem to use your credit cards and build debt, the more new credit card offers you receive. As the debt builds, it gets more and more difficult to eliminate. Larger debt means paying higher interest rates, which people with high levels of debt often can not afford.
Here are some ideas and tips to help you get out of debt or reduce credit card debt and get it back in control.
Find the Low Interest Cards
Take a look at all the credit cards you have, and try to shift the debt to the card charging the lowest rate of interest. Also, as you get new credit card offers, don’t accept any unless they offer lower rates.
Shift as much debt to the low interest cards as possible, and consolidate your credit cards. As always, check the fine print to make sure the interest rate lasts for a long time, and is not just a teaser rate that lasts a few months. Also, searching online is a great way to help find credit card companies with the best rates. When you go to switch to the new cards, let your old credit card company know first — they might give you a better rate.
Leave your Card at Home
Instead of taking your credit card with you, leave it at home and use cash instead. That way you will be forced to limit your spending to your pocket cash.
Change Credit Habits
Stop using credit cards to purchase things if you can’t make the FULL payment at the end of the month. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Even better — change your credit card habits by considering credit cards “emergency only” cards. Credit cards are nice to have if you have a short-term need for cash for emergency purposes.
Eliminate all unused cards, and officially cancel them. Don’t be tempted to open up new cards, unless you are getting a better rate of interest. If you do open a new card, eliminate the old ones.
Reduce your Credit Limit
If you are going to keep your credit cards, then don’t let your credit limit increase. Credit card companies often will increase your limit, allowing your debt to build. If they increase your limit, just call them back and let them know you don’t want it increased.
Budget your Purchases
Setting up and sticking to a budget is a great way to help discipline your money spending habits. By tracking where your money is going, you will be more aware of your spending habits, and eliminate unnecessary spending, and possible debt.