Lower High Credit Card Balances Now

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Why Reduce Credit Card Balances?

It can be no secret that the interest rates on unsecured credit (ie credit cards) is getting out of control. Many companies have raised rates in the last year, and these were not small increases. Many cards doubled or tripled interest rates for consumers. A higher interest rate on an existing balance is not a trivial issue either, and it can turn an affordable monthly payment into a real financial burden.

I am not against credit cards either. I think that having some emergency credit is essential for security in our society. When you need to get your car fixed or visit the dentists, it is very important to make sure you have a way to handle the cost. The problem is not with using a credit card, but in letting the debt run up until it gets to be a burden.

Credit Card Minimum Payments are for Suckers

You know that if you only pay the minimum balance, you risk extending your payoff date into some distant future. You may not be working towards getting your debt paid off at all. Try to pay more than the minimum due. It would be great to add in an extra $100, but if $10 is all you can afford, then add that to the lowest payment your company will accept. Just get in the habit of paying more than the minimum!

Is your account balance still going up every month? You might want to check those extra services your card sold you on. Did you sign up for payment protection or some other type of service? These are very sneaky ways to ensure that your card is always getting charged every month. If you really don’t get a benefit from these services, cancel them!

Plan Your Attack

Look at your various credit cards and plan your attack. Credit experts often tell us to knock down the higher balances first. Our credit scores will tend to rise when we are not close to our credit limit. But I find some satisfaction in totally eliminating the lower balances first, and then moving on to the higher ones. You need to come up with a plan that you can stick to. A clean credit card feels great!

Lower Payments with Low Interest Rate Transfers

If your credit is decent, you can still find offers to transfer your balances. Some offer 0% balance transfers, while others offer the transfers at a very low rate. These offers usually expire after 6 months of a year, but then it might be time to shop for another offer!

Is it worth it to shop for lower credit card interest rates?

If you have a balance of a few thousand dollars on credit cards, the difference between paying 0%, 8%, or 28% will be substantial. A lower interest rate means more of your payment goes towards paying down the balance, which means your minimum payment will also go down every month.

Besides, as consumers, we need to vote with our pocket books. If our current credit card company wants to be a pig, we need to shop for a leaner lender!

Source by Marilyn Katz

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