Most people come out of the holiday season with some extra credit card debt. This can be a little scary if you’re used to having your debt under control. Whether you needed a extra financial padding to pay for a family trip to visit the in-laws, or your wanted some cash to buy a few more Christmas presents, it’s time to get serious about getting your debt levels under control.
The following advice and perspectives will help make sure you’re paying off your credit card debt in the right way.
Your credit cards are like “fire”
When we use fire responsibly, it keeps us warm, allows us to cook our food and helps us in countless other ways. When we use fire irresponsibly, it causes us to get hurt, burns down our homes and creates general havoc. Credit cards are like fire in this regard — they can help us, but they can also hurt us financially. Always use your credit cards with caution.
Take an inventory of your debt
After being careful with your cards, you need to determine exactly what you owe. Figure out how many credit cards you have, how much you owe on them, what the minimum payments are and what the interest rates are.
Pay down the card with the highest interest rate first
Sometimes you can transfer your credit card debt to another, lower interest card. Other times, it’s the wiser choice to simply pay off the highest interest rate card first. Once you pay that card off, use the extra money that has been freed up to pay off the card with the next-highest interest rate and so forth.
When your debt is so high that there’s no way you can pay it off
When your credit card debt is so high that you can’t see any way to pay off your debt, consider if any other debt resolution strategies are available. People suffering from debt problems will have many legal options available to fix credit card debt. Knowing your options and the legal ramifications of each will help you decide which methodology is right for you.