by Maurie Backman | Published on Oct. 1, 2021
Many or all of the products here are from our partners. We may earn a commission from offers on this page. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.
Sitting on a pile of credit card debt? Here's how to get rid of it by the time 2021 wraps up.
Sometimes, life's circumstances cause you to run low on cash. When that happens, your credit cards can come in handy, paying for essential expenses that can't be put off or avoided, like food, medication, and utilities.
If you've racked up credit card debt this year, you're probably in good company. After all, a lot of people still aren't fully back to work, and inflation has caused common expenses like groceries and gasoline to cost more in general. But if you want to close out the year debt free, here are a few things you can do to make that happen.
Tips and tricks from the experts delivered straight to your inbox that could help you save thousands of dollars. Sign up now for free access to our Personal Finance Boot Camp.
By submitting your email address, you consent to us sending you money tips along with products and services that we think might interest you. You can unsubscribe at any time. Please read our Privacy Statement and Terms & Conditions.
Following a budget is a good debt-avoidance strategy. After all, if you have your expenses clearly mapped out for you, you'll be less likely to overspend.
But if you've already landed in debt, you may need to get stricter with your budget to carve out extra money to pay it off. Take a look at your expenses and see if there's any wiggle room to cut back on spending. That could mean canceling a streaming service temporarily or being more frugal at the supermarket -- look for things that fit your specific situation.
You may already be living a bare bones lifestyle and not have any expenses you can reduce. But if that's the case, you're not doomed to stay in debt. If you can get a side hustle on top of your main job, you can use the proceeds from that gig to chip away at your balance.
Keep in mind that getting a side hustle does not have to mean committing to preset hours. These days, there are many gigs you can do independently. You can apply to write or edit content from home, drive for a ride-hailing service, or sign up to pet- or house-sit when it's convenient for you. And these are just a few examples.
The less interest you accrue on your credit card debt, the easier it'll be to pay it off quickly. And to that end, a balance transfer credit card can help.
When you do a balance transfer, you move your existing balances onto a new credit card with a lower interest rate. You may, in fact, be able to get a 0% introductory APR on your balance transfer. A balance transfer is especially worth pursuing if you have decent credit. (If your credit is lower, you might struggle to qualify.)
Many people like to start a new year with a clean financial slate, so you may be motivated to rid yourself of credit card debt by the time 2021 comes to a close. The good news is that there are several tactics you can use to meet that goal. And remember, even if you don't manage to get rid of all of your credit card debt before 2022, if you whittle down your balance, you'll still end the year in a stronger place.
If you have credit card debt, transferring it to this top balance transfer card secures you a 0% intro APR into 2023! Plus, you’ll pay no annual fee. Those are just a few reasons why our experts rate this card as a top pick to help get control of your debt. Read The Ascent's full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.
We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2021 The Ascent. All rights reserved.