10 Ways to Get Rid of Credit Card Debt

The credit card noose is introduced as an opportunity to pay for that dream vacation, equipment, renovation or just generally indulge yourself. It usually comes disguised as a shiny bit of plastic with your name and a credit limit well above your income on it. You place it in your purse promising yourself it will only be for emergency situations. However, a few days later you discover something you think you can’t live without.

With that first buy, the noose is placed firmly round your neck and gradually begins to tighten as you start to purchase things you feel you have to have as opposed to the things you really need. Pretty soon, you’re drowning in debt without a clue. The bills start coming in and the minimum amount to be paid doesn’t look quite so minimal after all.

The good news is it’s up to you to make a conscious decision to loosen the noose and then slip it off your neck. The bad news is it’s not going to be an easy or comfortable process. To jump-start yourself, you should let the following scary points sink into your subconscious: –

  • It can take forever to pay off a credit card debt if you only pay the minimum amount every month.
  • If you miss even one payment, the penalty charges can be crippling.
  • No matter what you do to get yourself out of the debt, the bank will continue to encourage you to use the card. In other words, you’ll spend the rest of your life donating money to the bank.

Once that is absorbed, follow the steps below to get your financial health back in some order: –

  1. Stop using the card. Bury it, burn it, flush it, cut it up into little pieces and bake it – anything, as long as you stop using it.
  2. Decide on an acceptable time frame for paying off the debt. It could be anything from 3 months – 12 months.
  3. Split the amount you owe equally into the time frame you’ve decided on. Assuming your debt is $6,000 and you’ve chosen to pay it off in 12 months; your monthly instalment should be $500. When you can afford it, pay more than that but never less.
  4. You need to start razing your way through your life and your lifestyle. Make a list of essential living expenses every month such as rent, food, petrol, car payments and utilities, which appear non-negotiable initially and make them negotiable. How?
  5. You can carve your daily meals down by at least a quarter and swap for smaller and healthier portions. Send frappuccinos, ice cream, chocolates and other luxurious items out the window. Cook all your meals at home.
  6. Cut your utilities bill in half by using electricity only when it is absolutely necessary. If you want to take it a step further, you can switch to lamps or candles in the meantime. You can also use water sparingly.
  7. You can cut down on petrol costs by using the bus more frequently. When walking to your destination won’t kill you, miss the bus and walk.
  8. If there are any unopened items from the credit card bingeing, return them to the store. If they are already used, you can upload them for sale on a shopping website along with everything you no longer wear or use at home.
  9. You can also cut out on other everyday items like renting videos, buying books, going out, etcetera for the duration.
  10. Finally you should post motivational notes to encourage yourself all around you apartment because you will need it.

Combining these techniques with a great deal of willpower will get the noose off your neck for good. After you are free of the debt, reserve a credit card for emergencies and make sure you keep it in an extremely inconvenient place so you’re not tempted to use it

Anna Fani is a Freelance & Creative Writer. She has been writing professionally for several years on a variety of subjects related to lifestyles, career, finance and human interest. She also writes a substantial amount of fiction and is currently working on two novels. She is a member of the International Women’s Writing Guild and The Association of Freelance Writers. You can find out more about her on www.workingwriterslife.com.

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