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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Credit card debt

Get rid of your credit card debt!

  1. Stop using your cards - Mine are in the freezer in a block of ice. Freeze them, give them to your mom, your husband, cut them up (if you are in deep debt and the freezer method isn't working).
  2. Pay more than the minimum or you will never see the end. Pay everything you possibly can. Cancel your cell phone, or cancel your landline if your cell phone has a better deal. Cancel all phone 'extras'. You may want but don't need voice mail, call waiting, OR long distance. That's right, you don't need long distance! Use a cheap phone card, you can get great ones at Costco and similar places. Cancel your cable, you don't need it. You're not convinced? Keep basic cable if you must to keep the family happy (wouldn't they be happier if the family was debt free?).
  3. Use the snowball method. You know how this works. The reason everyone recommends this method is because it does work. Pay the card with the highest interest first, and mimimums on the rest, then when that is paid off apply the money to the card with the next highest interest. That saves you the most money in the long run but if living in the short run is what motivates you then by all means pay off the smallest balances first to get you in the mood of paying off the debt.
  4. Consolidate. I don't flat out recommend this for everyone. If you can find or are sent a good 0% offer and your credit is still decent enough that you think you will be approved, then you can take advantage of a good balance transfer offer and move all of your balances to one card. You can save a lot of interest in this manner, if you can get the balance paid off and if don't use any of your cards while doing this, If you do continue to use your cards, none of this will really help you because you won't have changed anything. Read the fine print. Wach out for balance transfer fees, and the length of the offer. The best deals are no BT fees, and 0% for the life of the loan. Remember, the 0% only applies to the BT amount, not to new purchases, so resist using your cards while this is is being paid off.

From SmartMoney: "Free cash!" http://www.smartmoney.com/debt/advice/index.cfm?story=conveniencechecks2005&hpadref=1

Note: I paid off $8,000 credit card debt in the last year and a half after adding a 2nd part time job, and all the methods listed above. You can do it. I know that to some people $8,000 isn't a lot of debt, the same principles can be applied regardless of the amount you owe.


Comments:
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