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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Getting Rid Of Your Credit Card Debt

By Peter de Vizard

If you have large credit card debt, as so many people do, you should know that the longer you carry a balance from month to month, the more you will end up paying off, and the more troubled your financial outlook will become.

For some, it may seem impossible to get rid of the debt, but if you go about it the right way, you can get rid of it once and for all.

The first thing you have to do is decide that you really going to make an effort to change, regardless of how difficult it may seem. Once you set your mind to being credit card free, you will have the determination needed to get yourself out of this debt quagmire. It will take time, persistence and control plus an understanding that it wont an "instant fix"

Once you have made your decision to get rid of your credit card debt, the first thing you should do close your open cards, so you aren't tempted to use them, thus accumulating even more debt. Even using your credit card to pay for a $3.00 meal at lunch can end up costing you ten times that much in interest.

It's better to get rid of those cards, and resist that temptation for good. Shred the cards up, or put them somewhere in the house where you can't get them easily. Maybe only in use of emergency, and the craving for a Starbucks Frappachino is not an emergency!

When you get your monthly credit card statements, aim to pay at least twice the minimum payment due on each card, more if you can squeeze it into your budget, The faster the amount owed goes down, the less you pay in interest per month.

Credit card lenders make their money off of interest and other fees they charge, so you have to really work at those balances, even if it means doing without something to make a larger payment. You may not see a significant difference at first, but with several payments that are on time and considerably more than what is due, you will start to see those balances come down.

Once you get used to paying more than the minimum payments due, you should take the time to compare the interest rates on all of your cards, and push all the extra money you can into the card that has the highest rate. When that balance is paid in full, divert that money to the card with the next highest rate, and so on, until you are clean of all the debt..

It's a long-shot, but some of the larger credit card lenders do have programs that can help cardholders payoff their accounts at a reduced rate. Just read the fine print, follow the terms closely, because in most cases, if you make one late payment, you are dropped from the program. All the interest and fees resume on the account. If that happens, you will quickly lose any ground that you may have gained.

By making the decision to get rid of your credit card debt, and working towards your goals, you can see the light at the end of the debt tunnel; it just may take you some time to reach it! You can do it if remain committed, put the effort in and have your family and friends on board. Try to imagine how it feel to be free of the pain once you have got rid of your credit card debt.

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