If you are paying off your credit cards, you’re already on your way to less worry and less stress. However, I know everyone would love it if they could find a way to pay off their cards just a little bit faster. Let’s face it: once the cards are gone, you will have more money to enjoy every month. However, it’s not always easy when there are tons of unexpected expenses in life that we all have to deal with. Luckily, there are many things you can do to make paying off your cards quicker. Check them out below.
1. Go Ahead. Make The Call.
You know that calling your credit card company can lower your interest rate and by extension, make those payments go faster. However, very few people actually sit down and take the time to actually do so. It only takes a minute, so make the call today. I think you’ll be surprised at how easy it actually is. All you have to do is call and ask what they can do to help lower your interest rates. It helps if you’ve always paid your bill on time. Sometimes you can also let them know that you’ve gotten several 0% offers from other companies to help sweeten the deal.
2. Enroll In Automatic Bill Pay
Many of us wait to pay for our credit cards until the end of the month, knowing that it can always roll over if we can’t pay it off in full. This makes us view our cards as a safety net or a loan, which is dangerous considering how high interest rates usually are on cards. Instead, pay your cards right after you pay your mortgage, then lighten up on the entertainment or eating out to compensate during the rest of the month.
3. Pledge To Live With Less
Many of us fall into the credit card trap by purchasing things that we simply can’t afford. Take a look around your house. Sell the excess, stick to a budget, and pay extra on your cards each month. It sounds like a lot, but it’s really quite simple with a little bit of motivation and encouragement from a friend or significant other.
4. Start An Emergency Fund
Unexpected expenses set the average American back almost $2,000 every year. So, I would recommend slowly building an emergency fund as you pay the minimum balance on your cards. That way, you can use your emergency funds instead of your cards if your car breaks down or you need to replace the water heater in your home. Using cash for these items keeps you from staying in the vicious cycle of credit card debt. It might slow down paying your cards off at first, but it will be well worth it in the end.
5. Add $5 More
Many of you will probably read this and think that you can’t even add one extra dollar to your credit card minimum payments. However, anything above the minimum will help you to pay it off quicker. Try to find $5 in your budget. You can skip fast food, that Starbucks coffee, or even buy 6 eggs instead of 12 at the store every week. All of these are quick ways to find $5 extra dollars each month. Take that amount and add it to your minimum payment. You’ll save yourself a month or two in payments at the end.
Who else knows of other great ways to pay off credit card debt faster? I paid off almost $6,000 worth of credit card debt myself. It took 18 months, and it was grueling, but I’m so happy to have that weight off my shoulders. I know you will feel the same way when you take the steps listed above to finally knock out your debt once and for all.
photo by vectorportal