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Dealing With Credit Card Debt

Article By Guest Author

Dealing with debt of any kind is not an easy job, but, with credit cards, it can get even more difficult since the interest is higher than average. There are a few tips, however, that should help you stroll lighter through the world of credit card debt and make your life easier. Credit card debt consolidation is only a final solution to your problems and we try to offer you some ideas on how to avoid it.

First tip that everyone can give you is to always pay your minimum rate, and to do it on time. If you fail to do that, the sum you owe will be added to next month's debt, after penalties have been calculated. In time, this will lead to an ever-increasing debt situation, which, needless to say, is very difficult to escape. Missing out on a lot of payments will also get you a few red marks on your credit history and will make your credit score go down.

The second advice is to always try to make a bigger-than-minimum deposit, if possible. In time, this lowers the amount of money you owe, making the interest lower in value, by reducing the base. It may be a considerable effort, but it will reduce the time you are in debt and will have an overall cost reduction effect on your credit. Not to mention that it looks good on credit history and can always be invoked if you ever run into trouble.

A very important tip is to evaluate your financial situation. If you can make the minimum payments, but anything above that would leave you in an uncertain position, don't do it, instead just go for the minimum. It may take more, but at least you will be safe. Also, even if you can afford to pay more than the minimum, always save some for emergencies as you never know what might happen. Don't remain content that you are in less debt than before, for in case something happens, you will need real, tangible money, not a smaller number on a paper. If you can't even manage with the minimum payment, then you may be already over your head.

Never discard offers and advertising, as well as promotional material from other credit or credit card providers. They may offer better rates or grace periods, both of which are welcome relief when in debt. The best situation would be to get an interest-free grace period of a few months, with lower rates. Then you could continue to make deposits even during the grace period, significantly lowering your credit base until interest and rates begin to flow. Of course, situations might not be ideal, like the one that has just been presented, but it serves as a demonstration that with hard work, with time spent on searching for advantages and with a little ingenuity, credit card debt can not only be manageable, but it can become a matter of the past.

The following piece of advice might rightfully sound strange for many people: use your savings money to pay off your debt. Don't discard this thought just yet. It is common knowledge that whatever you might gain through interest rates on savings will be lower than what you will lose through interest rates on credit. If your savings money is enough to pay your debt, do it. Then, you can start saving again from scratch, without the impediment of monthly rates and interest. Ideally, this should be made before the rates actually start, but that invalidates the whole need for a credit card (other than pure convenience). It would be better to not have any debt and be free to work on profit and savings than otherwise. Again, the third tip must be brought to attention: make sure that you have at least certain money left, as tangible money is always better than a number on someone's piece of paper. Even if savings are barely enough to pay, you can still do it: ask around with friends and family if they can offer you a very quick and small loan, in case anything bad might happen.

If you do run into trouble, remember that banks are not your enemy. They are interested in getting their money back as much as you are interested in not owing them anything. If you have problems, let them know, seek debt advice and work out a solution that is mutually beneficial. Do not be afraid to talk to their representatives, they are most definitely human as well.

Following these simple tips may not keep you out of trouble all the time, but they point out a series of rules that everyone should know and use.

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