I don’t know exactly where you stand with credit card debt today, but I know for a lot of people, credit card debt is their biggest, most immediate worry.
Many people have lost jobs recently and although there are signs of the economy turning around, the job market has yet to recover, or even show signs of stabilizing.
Unfortunately, some of us didn’t save enough to weather this long financial downturn, and have turned to credit cards to make up the difference.
But when credit cards get maxed out and/or we can no longer afford to make the minimum payment, thoughts quickly turn to ways that credit card debt can be eliminated for good.
There are several different methods that can be applied to eliminate credit card debt: debt settlement, bankruptcy, debt consolidation, credit counseling services, etc.
Today I’m going to ask you to skip all of those methods and first see if you can do some of the following to help you legally eliminate your credit card debt.
Can You Reduce Your Credit Cards Interest Rates?
If you don’t mind staying on hold on the phone for a while, call up your credit card company and talk to them about lowering the interest rate on your card. It doesn’t hurt to ask. If they resist, tell them you are likely going to switch to using a different card and just pay this one off.
Have a competing card in mind when negotiating. Even threaten to close the account. This will likely get your rate lowered. Lower rates mean less money you will owe on unpaid balances. Here’s more about lowering interest rates.
Can You Eliminate Other Expenses?
If you’re saying your not able to make your credit card payments but you haven’t yet gone hardcore frugal, then I have no mercy for you.
Determine the minimum level of expense you need to give your family food and shelter, and eliminate all other expenses.With this new found money can you eliminate your credit card debts?
Can You Bring In Extra Income?
Once you have your expenses to a minimum, search out ways to bring in extra income. I recently completed a series of interviews with real people who’ve learned to bring in extra income for their families.
I encourage you to take a look at those money making interviews and also exhaust every other resource you have for coming up with other income ideas. Take these extra earnings and use them to pay off those old debt.
Can You Transfer the Balance to Another Card?
While this doesn’t eliminate your credit card debt. It does help you pay it down with less interest paid. This isn’t a method that should be used by the undisciplined, but it’s a wise move. You can move the debt that is on a card charging high interest to another credit card that will actually not charge you interest for a certain period.
Know Who to Trust
Now I know some of you are probably getting upset with me right now because you’ve done all of the above and you’re still struggling to pay off your credit card debts, and find that you simply can’t go on. If you are in this position then I encourage you to turn to the right people for help.
The credit counseling industry is full of scammers and fraudulent people. Avoid these types by going to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and seek out one of their members, a Consumer Credit Counseling Service.