How to Get out of Credit Card Debt

I think a person would be lying if he said he had never experienced credit card debt.  It seems like we are all susceptible to it.  Whether you racked up a card or two by simply purchasing big ticket items or by just frivolously spending, you are not alone.  There can be a light at the end of the tunnel if you set your mind to seeing it.

Step 1

Determine how much debt you own and make a promise to yourself to eliminate it.  Stop using the credit cards!!  Throw them away, give them to a trusted friend or family member, or just put them away somewhere safe (away from your purse or wallet).

Step 2

If your debt is on a high-interest credit card, don't be afraid to contact the card's customer service and try to negotiate a lower interest rate.  People do it successfully all of the time!  If your credit card company won't budge on the rate, start shopping for a lower interest card and transfer the balance as soon as possible.  Typically, credit card companies are out looking for new members and offer a low interest rate on balance transfers that lasts for a one-year period.  Take advantage of this opportunity to put money back in YOUR pocket.

Step 3

Decide how soon you want to pay the debt off and compute a monthly obligation to do so.  For instance, if you have $3,000 on a credit card and want to pay it off by this time next year, commit yourself to paying $250 a month for the next 12 months.

Step 4

DO IT!  If $250 a month sounds like a lot, think about the luxuries in your life you could do with out for one year.  Seriously, add up all the extras you pay for each month (cell phone, cable tv, booze, eating out, etc.) and figure out which items you could eliminate for just one year.  Your reward at the end of the year will be huge:  no more credit card debt and the ability to subscribe to cable tv again or buy an extra bottle of wine each week.

The amounts I used above are just examples.  For some people it may be necessary to set a two-year goal or even more.  Whatever goal you set, stick to it and keep the rewards in mind when you start to feel overwhelmed!  Finally, when you do succeed, use your credit cards wisely.  We all get the itch to buy big ticket items or go on fabulous vacations.  Before doing so, however, determine how you plan to pay off the credit card once you have purchased that big screen tv.

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