Got some credit card debt? Want to pay it off? I can tell you how. It’s easier than it seems, and as long as you can afford to pay more than the minimum payment every month, you can get it done. Here’s how:
- Stop Using Your Credit Cards – Before you can pay off your credit cards, you have to stop using them. Don’t close the accounts or anything like that. Just take a deep breath, use your willpower, and stop using them.
- Pick a Card – Figure out which card to pay off. If you have more than one card, choose the card with the highest interest rate. If the interest rates are all the same, pick the card with the highest monthly payment.
- Make Payments – First, pay all your regular monthly bills except the one card you picked to pay off first. ONLY the bills. Don’t go out to lunch or clothes shopping or anything else. Be sure to pay the minimum payment required on all the other credit cards. How much money is left in your checking account? Now, figure out how much you need to make it until you get paid again. Food, gas, and bare minimum needs. Subtract that from the balance of your checking account. I also like to leave a little cushion in case of emergencies, but don’t spend it. Whatever that leftover balance is, pay it to that credit card you selected.
- Repeat – Keep doing that until the card is paid off. Once that card is paid off, do it again with the next one. By concentrating on one card at a time, you accomplish two things: you focus your energy in one direction, speeding up the results, and you also free up the money that was used to pay the minimum payment on that one card. Now you can put that toward another card, thereby increasing the amount left over each month.
This might seem restrictive, like going on a diet or giving up your favorite hobby, but once that first card is paid off, the sense of accomplishment can lead you to want to pay off more and more cards. If you find that you need more information than these quick tips, I recommend checking out Clark Howard or Suze Orman for more information.