credit cards

Tips to slash your credit card debt

Closing the door on your credit card debt

If you are struggling to pay off credit card debt, you have probably opened plenty of invitations for consolidation loans, debt management consulting services and balance transfers. The temporary relief of lower monthly payments is appealing, but make sure you understand all of your options before you accept an offer.

Timing is everything

First, figure out what it will take to really pay off your credit card debt. If your monthly payments aren't helping you make any progress toward a final debt-free date, a consolidation loan might be a viable option. Consider the big picture, though: Stretching your payments over a longer term is likely going to end up costing you more money.

Going your own way

Simply put, there is no "get out of debt free" card. While there are some debt management firms that may offer sound financial advice and guidance for your debt management, too often these services promise what no one can deliver.

If you are set on choosing a debt relief firm, ask the important questions: What are the fees for the service? When should you expect to see results? Are there potential negative repercussions?

Hanging in the balance

Determine how much a balance transfer can really save you before accepting the offer. One simple -- and often lower -- monthly payment can erase a lot of debt, but the fine print might reveal that the transfer is more costly than advertised, once you factor in fees and potential higher interest rates after an introductory period.

As you consider how to accelerate your payoff process, it's important to remember that discipline is the most important factor. Eliminating unnecessary expenses and organizing your budget might allow you to avoid a pricey credit card debt consolidation.

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Balance Transfer Cards 15.73%  0.01 15.72%
Cash Back Cards 16.43% --0.00 16.43%
Low Interest Cards 10.98%  0.02 10.96%
 
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