Maybe you're trying to improve your credit score so that you can qualify for a home loan. Maybe you've found that the rising cost of gas and groceries is leaving you with precious little money with which to pay down your credit cards. Or maybe you're just tired of seeing hundreds of dollars fly out of your wallet every month to pay for that lovely family vacation you took – two years ago. The reasons vary, but the story remains the same: All over the world, people want to get rid of their debt. And they want to do it fast.
Is it even possible to pay off thousands of dollars of debt in a short amount of time? Yes, if you're willing to do what it takes. A little scrimping and penny-pinching today will save you from heavy debt and interest charges down the road. Would not you like to be debt-free by this time next year? Surely that would be worth sacrificing a few trips to Starbucks.
To pay off your credit cards in a timely manner, you must first forget that you ever hear the phrase "minimum monthly payment". Paying the minimum amount required by your credit card company will do nothing to get rid of your debt. In fact, it could take decades before your cards are paid off with minimum payments.
Find a way to double or even triple your credit card payments each month. If your minimum monthly payment is $ 150, send in $ 300 instead. This may sound daunting, but it's the surest path to a debt-free tomorrow. Make some small changes in your daily life to compensate. For example, start cooking at home instead of eating out. Negotiate lower interest rates on your credit cards. Reduce your energy bill and other utilities. Get rid of monthly charges you do not really need, like super-deluxe satellite television packages. When you down-size your other bills, you can devote more money to getting rid of your credit card debt.
Debt consolidation is another option. Go with a lender you trust, such as your personal bank. Try to arrange a personal debt consolidation loan, then use it to pay off the balances on your cards. The loan will likely have a much lower interest rate than the cards. You'll end up with one loan rather than many discounted accounts, and you'll have lower payments to tackle each month.
If your credit card debt is small to moderate but subject to high interest rates, try transferring it to a 0% interest credit card. Just be sure to pay off the balance before the 0% introductory phase runs out – typically 6 to 12 months after card activation.
These debt-reduction strategies can be used by anyone. Start now before your debt becomes unmanageable. You do not want to file for bankruptcy just because you overspent! Instead, take the hard road for a few months in order to have smooth financial sailing down the road.