Is there anything worse than owing someone money? Knowing that you have to repay that person or company can wear on your over time; debt is a huge source of financial stress for millions of people in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
If you’ve resolved to lower and/or eliminate your credit card debt in 2015, Raccoon Valley Bank can help! We’ve compiled a six-step plan for getting out of debt for a better life free of the weight of stress hanging over your head.
- Take stock of your situation- start by being brutally honest with yourself and knowing exactly where you stand with your credit card debt. No how bad it is, you can get out of debt. You just have to know exactly what you’re dealing with.
- Ask for a lower rate- it may be surprising, but you may be able to negotiate a lower interest rate with your credit card company by simply calling and asking. Even if it’s only one percentage point, it will still help you save money on interest payments as long as you owe money.
- Examine your spending- take a look at your budget to see where you’re overspending, or if you can cut or eliminate spending altogether in a certain category. Anything you cut goes toward making a monthly payment that’s more than the minimum.
- Create a payoff strategy- this can differ depending on the number of credit cards you owe money on, as well as your personality. With multiple cards, the fastest way to get out of debt is to attack the debt on the card with the highest rate while paying the minimum on your other cards. However, if you’re the type of person that needs a quick win to get psyched, attack the card with the lowest amount of debt attached to it.
- Take a break from your card- moving forward, it’s probably best to shelve the credit cards for a little while. In a 2000 MIT study, researchers offered hard-to-get Boston Celtics tickets to a group of students. Some could pay using a credit card, while others had to use cash. The group using credit cards were willing to pay twice the actual price of the tickets. The lesson? It’s hard to part with cold, hard cash, which could mean more savings for you.
- Continually evaluate your progress- be sure to stay on top of your payments and continue seeking ways to save more. When you come across additional income, put it towards your debt. Extra payments really help decrease the overall cost of debt over time.
Being in debt isn’t pleasant. However, using the right strategy and being committing to ridding yourself of debt will put you on the path to being debt-free. Be sure to let Raccoon Valley Bank know if there’s anyway we can help. Good luck on your way to eliminating debt in the New Year!
Raccoon Valley Bank, member FDIC