Credit card debt has snowballed in the U.S. in recent decades. The average household now carries over $10,000 in credit card debt, among other debts, and many people struggle to make even the minimum payments due each month to service the debt.
Credit card debt can be beaten, however, with a little bit of planning and discipline. The biggest key, perhaps, to paying off credit card debt is to pay more than the monthly minimum payments. A monthly minimum of two percent paid to the card issuer may keep you in debt for years, even decades. Nothing could make the card issuer happier. Therefore, it is imperative to pay more than the minimum two percent to dent the balance due and lower the interest paid. Although doing so may sound challenging for some, it can usually be done very quickly with a bit of planning ahead of time.
To pay down debt faster, you have to either cut costs, increase income or do a combination of both. While cost-cutting may sound frightening to some, it can often be done with very little pain, and you may not even notice things missing you have decided to forego.
An extra $50 per month payment on a credit card balance of $10,000, for example, can shave years off the payment period while also saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest costs. Where does that $50 per month come from? Take your $150 per month cable bill. If you rarely use your cable, you could end your cable service and opt for an alternative instead. If the alternative costs $50 per month, you now have $100 you can use towards credit card debt or whatever you choose every month.
Suppose shaving costs is not something you are willing or able to do. In that case, you also have the option of earning extra income. A few hours per month can allow you to make an additional $100 or more that can all go towards eradicating your credit card and other debts. Once your debts are erased, these funds can be saved and invested in securing your financial future. A little planning can go a long way and may reduce debt and build wealth and provide peace of mind.