5 Credit Card Debt Management Tips

by Leon on March 20, 2013

credit card debt management helpFalling into the credit card debt trap is all too easy in the world today. Many companies advertise their credit cards as the ultimate solution to your financial struggle, but reckless use of credit can dig you into a deeper hole than ever before. Use your credit wisely, and don’t let it control your life. These credit card debt management tips will help you take back control of your finances, one step at a time.

Go Above the Minimum Payment
Every credit card comes with a minimum required monthly payment to which you agree when you sign your contract. Monthly payments are usually relatively low, allowing you repay your debts at an easy pace. However, that easy pace leads to quick accumulation of debt. If you want to keep your debt under control, one of the best things you can do is go above the minimum monthly payment. Even if it’s just a few dollars above the minimum, you’ll be making faster progress on eliminating your debt and returning balance to your finances.

Budget Your Income Wisely
Managing debt can be very difficult when you don’t have disposable income to use for paying off your credit cards. Start budgeting your income and living a more frugal life to ease the financial strain. Cutting frivolous expenses out of your daily life will help tremendously in increasing your sense of financial freedom. Cook meals at home, rather than going out to restaurants or ordering delivery. Skip the coffee shop in the morning and bring home-brewed coffee in a thermos. Small steps can make a big difference in helping manage your debt.

Consider Debt Consolidation
If you have several outstanding debts to worry about, even making minimum monthly payments can be a strain. Rather than paying off several bills every month, consider opting for a debt consolidation loan and reduce your monthly debt payments to one. This is a great option for those who have several smaller outstanding debts that amount to a significant burden. Talk to a local financial adviser to see if this may be a viable option for you.

Don’t Spend More Than You Can Afford
Try not to use credit cards as a substitute for income. Debt becomes difficult to manage only when you use your credit cards to spend more than you can currently afford. Before making a purchase on credit, ask yourself if you could afford to pay in cash. If the answer is no, then you may want to think twice about swiping that card. Whether you’re buying new appliances for the home or the best credit card processor for your business, make sure you have the finances available to pay off your larger purchases.

Don’t Ignore Your Debt
The only way your debt is ever going to disappear is if you file for bankruptcy, and that is not a desirable solution to your problems. Ignoring your debt and going through your life like it isn’t a problem is the kiss of death. You should always be aware of your debts, and constantly working to reduce and eliminate them. The process may be long, and it may not be easy, but awareness is the first and most important step in creating a realistic debt management plan.

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