Monday Mishap: I’m in Credit Card Debt
November 3, 2015 : Michelle Schroeder-Gardner – Guest Contributor
Credit card debt is something that no one wants. However, according to NerdWallet, the average U.S. household carries more than $15,000 of credit card debt.
Credit card debt can impact many areas of a person’s life, including feeling trapped living paycheck to paycheck, or adding a significant amount of stress. And then there are the potential consequences: your credit score may drop, you may incur high interest charges and so much more.
This scenario doesn’t have to be your reality. With just a little time and a lot of dedication, you can get out of credit card debt and reach the financial freedom to live the life you want. Here are a few common steps to take when taming debt.
1. Add up your total credit card debt.
In order to face the reality of paying back your credit card debt, you will first need to add up the total amount of debt you have. This will help quantify the situation and the effort that needs to be made to eliminate or reduce it.
2. Lower your interest rates.
Interest rates on credit cards are often more than 20%. That is a lot of money to be dishing out toward your credit cards each month, and because of this, it can be tough to get ahead.
Try lowering your interest rates by calling your credit card company and asking them for a lower rate. The worst thing to happen is they say no. This post from The Simple Dollar has advice for how to approach the call.
3. Cut your budget.
Take some time to explore what expenses in your budget can be cut. You may find you can eliminate some bills or just try to negotiate a lower monthly expense. Even small adjustments can add up to bigger impact on your monthly financials.
Some expenses you may want to look into include eating out less, spending less on TV, using energy efficient appliances, and more.
4. Earn more money.
If there is not much you can cut out of your budget, you may want to look into ways to earn more money. This may mean seeking out a raise at work, finding a part-time job (such as driving for Uber), starting a business, volunteering to work overtime, and so on.