How to Get Out of Credit Card Debt in 2022

Smiling man sitting on sofa with laptop and credit card.

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If debt is dragging you down, here's how to get those credit cards paid off.

Key points

  • Credit card debt can cost you money and also damage your credit score.
  • Consolidating your balances, making lifestyle changes, and getting a side hustle could be your ticket to closing out the new year debt-free.

Credit card debt can be a tough thing to deal with on multiple levels. First, there are those monthly payments -- the ones that probably monopolize a scary chunk of your income. Plus, high levels of credit card debt could actually result in a lower credit score, making it harder to borrow money when you need to.

If you're starting 2022 with credit card balances to pay off, three key moves on your part could leave you debt-free by the end of the year. Here's how to shed that credit card debt and move forward.

1. Make your balances cheaper to pay off

The problem with credit cards is that they tend to charge a lot of interest so that even a modest balance can grow into a larger one over time as interest accrues. If you're sitting on several costly credit card balances, consolidating that debt could be a smart move.

One option to consider in this regard is a balance transfer. If you have a good enough credit score, you may qualify for an offer that lets you move your different balances onto a single card with a lower interest rate or even a 0% introductory rate.

Another avenue to explore is consolidating your credit card debt with a personal loan. If you're able to get a loan with an interest rate lower than what your credit cards are charging you, your debt will be cheaper to pay off.

2. Rework your budget to free up more cash

You may have certain expenses in your budget that are possible to cut back on. If so, reworking your budget could help you get rid of credit card debt sooner.

Take a look at your various bills. It may be possible to spend a little less on food (say, by swapping some takeout meals for home-cooked ones), or to lower your transportation costs by carpooling to work with a colleague who lives nearby. In fact, a series of small changes to your spending could free up enough cash to make a sizable dent in your credit card balances.

3. Boost your income with a side job

To get ahead of your credit card debt, you may need extra money. Since you can't count on winning the lottery, you can take steps to boost your income by getting a side hustle. Since that money won't be earmarked for regular bills, you can use all of it (minus what you owe in taxes) to whittle down your credit card balances to $0.

Believe it or not, there are a number of lucrative side hustles you can pick up without having to commit to a rigid schedule. If you own a car, for example, you can sign up to drive for a ride-hailing service. And if you have a good eye for numbers, you can see if there's medical billing or data entry work you can do from home when you have free time in the evenings.

If you've landed in credit card debt, you're in good company -- but that doesn't mean you have to stay there. Follow these tips, and hopefully, you'll manage to end 2022 with your credit cards fully paid off.

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