Every year, consumers make the decision to use their credit cards during the holiday season. Unfortunately, this can cause some people to deal with much higher than usual credit card bills in January and February.
Additionally, tax season is just around the corner, and if you owe money on your income taxes as well, this can make it even more difficult to deal with credit card debt without having it drag out for the next year.
Therefore, consumers need to look for ways to pay off their credit card debt as quickly as possible.
The following tips are options that a person can implement to help them work on eliminating any credit card debt that they may be financially faced with.
1. Always Pay More than the Minimum
Even if you are unable to pay your full balance every month, you should always pay as much as possible above the minimum amount due. After all, this can have a dramatic impact on the total amount of interest that you are responsible for, and it will become much easier for you to pay off your balance in a timely manner.
2. Focus on the Higher Interest Rate Cards First
Although you need to make a payment to each credit card every month, it makes the most sense to focus your attention on paying the largest extra amount to the card that has the highest interest rate.
Again, this will let you reduce the amount of interest that you end up paying, and this is one of the most important aspects of getting your debt under control.
3. Reduce Your Unnecessary Spending
Instead of struggling to pay off credit card debt for several months, you should remove anything from your current lifestyle that is not absolutely essential until your bills are paid off.
For example, you can get rid of cable and stop going out for dinner so that you will have more money available each month to apply toward your debt.
As an added bonus, this also gives you the opportunity to eat healthier and develop alternative hobbies to watching TV.
4. Use Cash as Your Choice of Payment
Psychologists have proven that people are more likely to spend a higher amount of money when they shop with a credit or debit card instead of cash.
Therefore, you should limit yourself to using cash while you are in the process of paying off your holiday debt.
This approach will prevent you from making the situation worse, and it will also help you learn to live within your means.
5. Contact Your Credit Card Providers
If you have accrued more debt than you can pay off during the next year, you should definitely contact each credit card company to inquire about whether or not they are willing to reduce your interest rate so that you can pay everything off more quickly.
If you are up front with each company and have a good payment history with them, the odds are high that they will work with you.
Ultimately, it is important to create a budget that will prevent you from racking up too much debt in the future. However, your immediate goal should be to utilize each applicable tip and create a plan so that you can pay off your credit cards before the next holiday season gets here again.