Having Trouble Paying Your Credit Card Debt? Try These Tips

by Christy Bieber | Published on Oct. 9, 2021

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It's best to be proactive if you're struggling to repay your credit card debt.

Credit cards can come with high interest rates. And if you owe a lot of money on your cards, it can be difficult to pay your balance down to $0. The good news is, there are some techniques that may be able to make the process easier.

If you're struggling to pay back what you owe on your cards, try these tips to help you out.

1. Consider refinancing your credit card debt

Credit card debt can be very expensive debt because it's common for the interest rate on cards to be above 17%. The more you pay in credit card interest, the harder it is to pay back what you owe because so much of your monthly payment goes directly to the creditor rather than toward reducing your balance.

You may be able to lower your interest rate by refinancing your credit card debt. You could consider a 0% balance transfer card, which would allow you to pay a small fee to transfer your existing balance to a new credit card offering a 0% promotional rate for a period of time. You could also look into whether a personal loan might be available to you at a lower rate than you are currently being charged.

By refinancing, you can often lower your total payoff costs, monthly payment, or both. It's a great solution to make paying credit card debt easier.

2. Adopt a payoff approach

There are a few proven methods of paying off debt, including the debt snowball and the debt avalanche.

The debt snowball method involves paying extra to your credit card with the lowest balance first while making only minimum payments on other debt. Once you've got your card with the lowest balance paid off in full, add the amount you were paying on it to the monthly payment on your card with the next-smallest balance.

The debt avalanche method takes a similar approach, but you start working on the debt with the highest interest rate first and then work backwards from there. The benefit to this approach is that you save more by getting rid of your most expensive debt first. But the downside is you won't necessarily score any quick wins by paying off any debt right away -- so it may be harder to stay motivated.

Making a payoff plan can help you take a more organized approach to repaying your credit card debt, which can make the process much easier.

3. Focus your budget around debt payoff

If you want to get your credit cards paid, make that a priority when you create a budget. Plan to send as much extra as you can to your creditors, including temporarily diverting cash from other types of non-essential spending.

A little short-term sacrifice can make a big difference when you are trying to get your credit card debt paid off.

4. Talk to your creditors about your options

Sometimes, none of these approaches will work for you if you're struggling to make minimum payments or don't have extra money. If that's your situation, talk to your creditors and let them know you are struggling. They may be willing to work out a payment plan -- especially if they think that you may otherwise default.

By taking these steps, you can find the best approach to tackling your credit card debt and hopefully can make the process of dealing with that debt a lot easier.

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