How to Properly Pay Down Your Credit Cards

(This is a guest article by Elise Degrass*)

Even in an economic downturn, the widespread available of credit to consumers is staggering: nearly anyone can apply for, and receive, a credit card today. With the growing ease of use (you no longer have to even sign for many transactions) and the vast number of businesses which accept credit transactions, fiscal responsibility with credit cards can be as difficult as ever. Keeping disciplined in your spending, as well as your payments, will help you to stay out of debt in the long run.

As a first step, consider working through a complete review of all of your existing credit card debt. If you have multiple cards, a spreadsheet may be an effective way to keep track of all of the data, from minimum payment amounts to due dates and interest rates. Also, it's important to note any variability in interest payments,
especially if an introductory rate becomes much higher after a certain point. Once you have collected data on your debt burden, you can begin taking steps to pay down your credit cards.

Prioritize your payments on cards which have the highest interest rates, and make a plan to shift your spending to cards with lower rates. Figure out your monthly expenses and determine which you can pay off with cash to reduce further interest rate payments. Additionally, you may want to consider looking at your overall expenses to prioritize repayment of debts over unnecessary purchases, especially for vacations and other upscale expenses.

As part of a larger budgeting process, ensure that you can meet all of the minimum payments while planning to consolidate your debt into just a few cards in the long-run; having fewer cards will simplify the budgeting process, as well as making it easier to keep track of your purchases. Working with a debt counselor to devise a long run plan, as well as working with credit card companies to negotiate lower rates, will help you on the path to a debt-free future.

*About the author: This article was contributed by Elise Degrass. Elise is a new writer who currently is blogging about cell phones.

*Image Credit: Photograph by Andres Rueda [via Flickr Creative Commons]



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6 Comments:

debt management diva said...

Nice article.

membership card printing said...

Hi

There are so many people confused about their credit cards and They think only about " How to properly pay down their credit cards? Because they have used all amount of credit card.

debt relief said...

some of the FICO rules are changing so folks should be aware of that when making changes too.

arizona auto insurance said...

Do not max out those credit cards as you will see your FICO score decrease. They will penalize you for that now

Jerry said...

Yes. Pay them down... but sometimes it can help to also have some of the lowest balance cards first, so that you actually see yourself paying them off and it leads to some actual insurance of success. Bottom line, though, get that debt paid off!
Jerry
www.leads4insurance.com

Silver Rose said...

Debt is going out of fashion. It's not just people who've maxed out their credit cards who are paying off debt. Nearly everyone I know is doing so whether in secure jobs or not. I think the penny has finally dropped as to just how expensive it all is.