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Pay Off Your Credit Card and Free Up Your Money

Are you in credit card debt? If you're just paying off the minimum each month, it's not going to get any better. Here are some suggestions for getting out of credit card debt and staying out:

Pay yourself first. While working to repay your credit card bills, also work to build up an adequate emergency fund if you don’t have one already. The experts’ advice varies as to how much you should put away. Most of them say to have at least three months’ worth of living expenses in the bank. Having such a fund helps ensure you don’t have to reach for the credit cards during times of emergency or unemployment.

Pay more than the monthly minimum. This is the only way to get out of the hole of credit card debt. The Bankrate Web site features this credit card repayment calculator where you can enter your balance to determine how long it would take to pay off the card with different monthly payments. Devise a realistic monthly payment plan that works for you. Do your absolute best to stick with your plan.

Pay the card with the highest interest rate first. If you have multiple credit cards, concentrate on paying off the one that carries the highest interest rate first. Bankrate provides this calculator to assist with multiple credit card repayment.

Send windfalls to credit card repayment. Especially once you have an emergency fund in place, you can potentially knock out large amounts of credit card debt using money from job bonuses and income tax returns. In the long run, the peace of mind you will get from lifting the burden of debt could really outweigh spending your windfall on a vacation or other luxury item.

Stop charging. Do your best to stop adding to your debt immediately. Before making a new credit card purchase, ask yourself, “Just how much do I need this item?” Define the difference between a “want” and a “need”. As much as you may be considering getting an early jump on your Christmas shopping, don’t use your credit card to pay for it.

Live within your means. This goes hand-in-hand with the previous point, but it is so important I feel it can be stated over and over again.

Looking for a little more motivation and inspiration? Here is a site I found that provides a daily quote, often philosophical, regarding debt.

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Tags: getting-out-of-credit-card-debt, pay-off-credit-card-debt, personal-finance


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