Experts say there is a foolproof way to pay off your credit cards. Experts also say that few of us are using that surefire method, which is why so many of are struggling with credit card debt.
What’s this infallible approach to paying your credit card bills? Experts say it works like this: if you have two or more cards with balances, you should pay the minimum amount on all cards but the one that has the highest interest rate. Pay as much as you can toward the balance of that card, experts say.
It’s a straightforward way to pay off your credit card debt and minimize the amounts you have to pay to credit card companies. According to researchers, few people are following this optimal approach.
Instead of paying as much as they can toward the card with the highest interest rate, most people are devoting just 51.5 percent of their credit card payments to the card with the highest APR. Only 10 percent of those studied were following the surefire method.
Many people split payments more or less evenly between their cards rather than focusing on the card charging them the highest interest rate. The problem with that approach is that it costs money. People who use the approach wind up paying hundreds of dollars per year (or more) in interest payments.
The average two-card household wastes $90 annually on interest payments, researchers found. The average five-card family loses $327 by not focusing on the high-interest card. The more debt you have on your cards, the researchers said, the more of your money can go to waste.
Unfortunately, some people reach a point with credit card debt that it becomes unmanageable no matter which approach they employ. For them, it can make sense to sit down with an attorney to discuss credit card debt settlement. An experienced debt solutions lawyer can help them reduce their debt, protect their credit rating by avoiding bankruptcy and get debt under control with affordable monthly payments.