Pay Off Credit Cards and Get Out of Debt.
Making the decision to pay off credit cards is one of the smartest things you can do for your financial health. Retailers have made it increasingly easy to pay for nearly anything with a credit card; including your fast food lunch. Temptation to spend, spend, spend is everywhere you turn. So, how can you turn off the marketing machine messages, avoid temptation, and eliminate your credit card debt? It's not as difficult as you might think.
The first step to pay off credit cards is to stop using them. If you can't bring yourself to cut them into pieces, at least remove them from your wallet and put them in a safe location. Many people find storing their credit cards in a safe deposit box works well. The cards are protected by the banks security systems and they are out of your house, which helps to reduce temptation to use them.
The second step involves creating a plan to pay off credit card debt. Some experts suggest paying off large credit card balances first. Others suggest paying off small credit card balances first. The one thing experts do agree on is paying off credit cards with the highest rate of interest, regardless of the balance owed.
When developing your debt elimination plan, be certain to be realistic. Create a plan you can actually adhere to. Otherwise, you will become frustrated, throw in the towel, and end up right back where you started – up to your eyeballs in debt.
If you have difficulty developing a plan, consider obtaining credit counseling. Credit counselors can help you gain a better understanding of your spending habits. By reviewing your finances they can offer suggestions on the best strategy to pay off credit cards and other outstanding debt. In some instances, credit counselors will negotiate with your creditors to reduce interest rates, eliminate late fees and reduce outstanding balances.
Debt consolidation is an option for paying off credit cards. This can present considerable risk when homeowners obtain a home equity loan to consolidate debt. Not only do home equity loans extend the terms of payment, they can also place your home at risk for foreclosure. Careful consideration should be taken before using your home as collateral to pay off credit cards.
Debt settlement can be used to pay off credit card debts; however, this technique seriously blemishes your credit. Debt settlement is usually negotiated through debt settlement companies or attorneys. Debt settlers negotiate with credit card companies to reduce outstanding balances by as much as 50-percent.
Debtors pay the debt settler a percentage of their overall debt. Although debt settlement can significantly reduce the amount of debt owed, the consequences may outweigh the benefits. Be certain you understand the ramifications should you decide to use debt settlement to pay off credit cards.
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