Making a minimum payment on your credit card each month is the worst way to pay it off. While it does keep you current, it's likely to lead to many years of debt instead of making a clean payoff quickly. Interest rates add to your bill every month, making your minimums too low to bring down the principal balance much at all.
If you're living paycheck to paycheck and struggle to make payments above the minimum, there are some things you can do. Here are three tips that could help:
1. Transfer your debt to a zero-interest card
Many companies offer zero-interest credit cards that charge no interest for a period of time. If you can pay off the debt within that period, whether it's six or 12 months, then you'll be able to get ahead on the debt instead of paying on interest and principal on your traditional card. Keep in mind that not paying it off in that time frame will result in interest charges.
2. Cut back to add more to payments
Maybe it's your cellphone bill that you can cut back on, or maybe you can eliminate cable for a few months. Whatever there is you can do to reduce your payments in other areas will give you a chance to catch up on your credit-card debt.
3. Consolidate your debts
If you have the option of a personal loan, it might be better than keeping all your debt on your credit cards. Personal loans tend to have lower interest rates and, since all your cards are on one balance, may have a lower monthly payment.
These are a few tips to help you get ahead on credit debt. With the right plan, it's possible to eliminate your debt.