The average American now carries more personal debt that than at any time in history. Credit card debt can be particularly difficult to deal with, and damaging to your credit history. The number of people who are now missing payments is also at its highest level ever. The ratio of the number of defaulters has broken all previous records, and looks like increasing dramatically by the end of the year.
Credit card debt can be crippling, to a person's financial history, and make for serious problems when applying for major credit such as mortgages. Whether you are already having debt problems or not, now would be a good time to try to deal with your credit card balance and attempt to reduce the balance as quickly as possible.
All the financial indicators are that we may soon go into a recession, if we do people who have debts may suddenly find themselves in a serious financial situation. A recessions effect could be employment, reduced income, less overtime and increased interest rates. None of these would leave you in a good position if you are weighed down with credit card debts.
There are some simple ways to start to deal with your card balances now, so that you may avoid possible problems and complications in the future. If the balance on your cards is still manageable, you should begin your attempts to reduce the amount owed immediately.
The first step is, as far as possible, stop using your cards, especially on a day-to-day basis. Reducing your debt does not start with spending more money on your cards. There is no reason why getting your balances down should be terribly painful or inconvenient.
If you feel confident enough you may want to cut up all will one of your cards. You could always get a replacement card at a later date. You should not however, cancel any of your cards, as this will have an adverse effect on your credit rating.
Cutting down your expenses will give you more available cash to use in your credit card balance reduction attempts. If you go out for a meal twice a week, try cutting it down to once. If you buy a $3 coffee on the way to work every morning, that is $60 a month. Can't you manage without a coffee most mornings? Or take one from home with you to work, these kind of savings can add up to a large amount of money every month.
You should immediately stop paying the minimum requested by the credit card companies. This is a debt just waiting to happen; you must pay off more than the minimum required amount every month in order to reduce your debt as quickly as possible.
Taking all that un-used coffee money now means that instead of paying off $40 from a particular card, you can now pay $100. Plan to make is kind of saving in many aspects of your life and you soon may be in a position to pay off a larger amount each month.
Another tip is to pay off any odd balances on your credit card. For example, if your card as a total balance of $3221.96, you should make the payment for $221.96 rather than $200. The reason for that is not only that you are paying slightly more of your balance; it is simply a mental boost to reduce the figure to an easily remembered and psychologically significant number. Having a balance of $3000 is far easier to deal with mentally than having a balance of three thousand and 'something' dollars.
If you feel that your credit card balance situation has already reached a critical point, where you are struggling to even make the minimum payments. The best way to deal with this problem, without crushing your credit rating, may be to take out a debt consolidation loan with a reputable online broker.
This will not just add another debt to what you already have. This is one lone that will be used to pay off all your existing debts and replace them with one single manageable monthly payment. That has a lower rate of interest and is spread over more years to make it much easier for you to deal with on a month to month basis.