How to pay off credit card debt fast: five quick steps to follow
Paying off credit card debt can be tricky if you’re not following a strategy that will help you stay ahead of payments, but when you follow the right steps and stick to a plan, you’ll be much closer to achieving financial freedom, improving your credit score and relieving some financial stress. Here are five steps to follow if you want to pay off credit card debt as quickly as possible:
1. Pay off credit card debt fast: consolidate debt
Debt consolidation is a way to reduce the amount of credit card companies or collections companies you’re dealing with, ideally with a lower interest rate than your existing debt. This option can make payments more manageable, reduce your monthly payments and make the payoff period shorter. When you consolidate debt it is also easier to focus all your attention into just one payment, instead of feeling helpless with ridiculous amounts of bills stacking up on your desk. Click here for four ways to consolidate debt.
2. Pay off credit card debt fast: refinance interest rates
Credit.com explains that “paying high-interest rates on existing debt causes your debt to really mount, and makes paying it off much more difficult. If possible, you want to lower those interest rates.”
So how can you lower your interest rates? Enter refinancing.
Even though different credit card companies have different policies on refinancing interest rates, this is definitely worth a try! If your credit score has improved or your financial situation has changed, try one of these negotiating tactics to ask for a lower interest rate. A good rule of thumb is to always start with your oldest credit card and remember that this lower interest rate could still be subject to increase based on your credit score and payment history.
3. Pay off credit card debt fast: make extra eayments
Even though making the minimum monthly payment is a better alternative than missing payments (click here to learn how missed payments affect your credit report), it’s hard to pay off your credit card as interest rates will keep adding up. A great way to pay off your credit card as quickly as possible is making additional payments by rounding up, so if you’re paying $230 a month, consider paying $250 instead.
NerdWallet.com says “credit card issuers give you a handy monthly minimum payment, generally 2% to 3% of the balance, to make sure you’re making timely payments. However, banks make money off the interest they charge each pay period, so the longer it takes you to pay, the more money they make.”
Another way to pay off your debt is by using your tax refund or any extra cash you earn and putting it towards credit card debt. Even if you’re only paying an extra $100 a month, after a year you will be $1,200 closer to being debt free.
4. Pay off credit card debt fast: consider a personal loan
According to Credit Karma, “taking out a personal loan to pay off credit card debt is an unconventional alternative that could save you money over time. If you’ve treated the root cause of your debt and have stable cash flow, a personal loan might be an attractive option.”
Considering a personal loan could help you reduce interest rates, reduce your monthly minimum payment and improve your credit score. Keep in mind that before getting a personal loan you should shop around a make sure you’re going with the right lender that will offer low-interest rates and the option to refinance your loan down the road.
5. Pay off credit card debt fast: automate payments
As obvious as this sounds, you’d be surprised to find out that payment automation can make your life much easier! When you automate your monthly payments you make sure you’re not missing the due date and you can sometimes even get a discount through your lender when you take advantage of this. Additionally, your payments will always be on time and you will avoid a bad payment history on your credit report.
LendingPoint is a personal loan provider specializing in NearPrime consumers. Typically, NearPrime consumers are people with credit scores in the 600s. If this is you, we’d love to talk to you about how we might be able to help you meet your financial goals. We offer loans from $2,000 to $25,000, all with fixed payments and simple interest.