Borrow Money ArticlesDebt Payoff

10 Powerful Tips to Pay Off Credit Cards

If you have credit card balances and want to pay them off quickly, follow these tips to pay them off.

Credit cards are useful financial tools, but they can become out of control with uncontrolled usage. What may seem to have been a small, manageable balance has ballooned to a stressful amount.

If you have credit card balances and want to pay them off quickly, follow these tips to pay them off.

1. Stop spending

What often derails debt-free seekers is continuing to spend at the same rate as what got them into debt. Review your monthly expenses and determine what expenses are required (rent/mortgage, auto, insurance, utilities) and what are negotiable (eating out, subscription services, cable, cell, and discretionary spending).

2. Don’t use credit cards

If you want to pay off credit card balances, you’ll need to stop relying on credit cards. Research has shown that spending on credit and not on cash causes us to spend twice as much on purchases. Plan to use cash on purchases as you pay off your debt. Getting rid of credit card debt becomes harder if you are still adding to the balances.

3. Make additional payments

You can choose to pay double the minimum payment amount each month or add an extra $10 to the minimum payment required. Basically, the more you pay towards the debt, the sooner you’ll become debt-free. If you can’t afford to make extra payments, consider a side hustle to make extra cash.

4. Use the debt avalanche or debt snowball methods

These methods are based on your motivations. Are you motivated by having one card paid off or desire to pay the lease amount of interest? Choose the right method that will work best for you.

5. Check your monthly credit card statement

By law, credit card issuers are required to provide consumers information on credit card debt repayment. For instance, how much your debt will cost you if you continue to pay the minimum balance, or how much you need to pay to eliminate the balance in three years? Review your credit card statement and find the Payment Information Box.

6. Use the minimum payments from a paid-off credit card on another

Utilize the minimum payments from a credit card that you’ve paid off to pay down balances on other credit cards. For example, if you’ve cleared the balance on a department store card with a minimum payment of $50, redirect that $50 toward the minimum payment on another credit card. This means that if you were previously paying $120 on credit card #2, with the addition of the former minimum payment from credit card #1, your new payment would be $170.

7. Don’t close your credit cards

It might seem like a great idea to close off credit cards while paying them off. Closing your credit cards may impact your available credit, which is used to calculate your credit score. You may need good credit to negotiate for better balance transfer rates, lower interest, or to get a debt consolidation loan.

Be mindful of the potential impact on your credit score, but keep focused on the actual goal—paying off credit cards.

8. Lower your APR

There are ways to pay less interest on existing credit card debt. Call your creditor and ask to lower your APR. Let them know you plan to get out of debt and are looking for ways to have more of the minimum monthly payments go toward the principal.

Just be mindful that some credit issuers may see this as a future inability to pay and might close off your credit card. Be very detailed in your explanation and desire.

9. Use balance transfer offers

Credit card balance transfers may be beneficial by transferring high-interest credit card debt into a lower-interest-rate credit card. Transfer the balances of the higher credit cards into the lower APR card.

Be careful not to start racking up balances on any new credit you get. See “Stop spending” above.

10. Consolidate your credit card debt

You can apply for a debt consolidation loan with a bank, credit union, or financing company. For more debt consolidation options, look for options in the financial marketplace.

Be mindful not to use any credit made available after debt consolidation. You may find yourself with new credit card balances plus a debt consolidation loan.

Take advantage of these tips to help you reach your debt-freedom goal.

Jason Vitug

Jason Vitug is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and founder of phroogal.com and thesmilelifestyle.com. His purpose to help others live their best lives through experiential and purposeful living. Jason is also a certified yoga teacher and breathwork specialist and has traveled to over 40 countries.

Related Articles