Everybody with a credit card knows it’s smart to pay what you owe at the end of every month – right? According to CardWeb.com, an international credit card tracker, credit card debt is approximately $9000 per household for those carrying at least one credit card. Internet shopping increases the temptation to overspend, since cash or checks are rarely an option if you’re online to shop.
Holiday spending is a notoreous time when consumers rack up their credit card bills. According the Cardweb.com, Americans racked up just over $115 billion in retail spending on their credit and debit cards during the 2003 holiday shopping season and that doesn’t include store credit cards. Spending on cards is up about 7% from last year, twice the expected growth rate.
This becomes the equivalent of around $1400 per family, which seems like a modest amount to pay off in a couple of months. “But we all know that’s not how the real world works,” said Don Hofreiter, a sales executive with a Glendale, Calif., corporation. “Not only do people carry balances from month to month, but they continue to charge on the same card to compound their compounding interest problems.”
Escaping the Debt Set isn’t easy, but it’s the best path toward saving and investing for the future. Besides, zero balances eliminate the stress of debt.
Salary.com researched some of the top sources on personal finance (listed below). These 12 ways to get out of credit card debt are a compilation of what the experts recommend.
1. Stop running up balances
If you carry a balance from month to month, stop using credit cards entirely.
If you don’t have the discipline for it, put the cards into storage or cut them up.
2. Find your best offer
Comb the fine print on all your card contracts to make sure you owe the most money on the card with the lowest interest rate. If not, investigate the costs of transferring balances.
Alternatively, hold on to every solicitation you receive (1 billion are sent out each year). Look for the best introductory rates, perhaps six months at 5.9 percent or lower, and consider transferring all your balances to the new card….. read more »