How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt
Many people think debt is something to hide or ignore, but ignoring it will only make it worse. One of the best approaches to tackling credit card debt for Floridians is to face it head on. You can do this by creating a debt payoff plan that will work for your situation.
Where to Start
If just one of your accounts is in debt, you can focus on making the biggest monthly debt payments your budget allows and scrape away at eliminating the debt month by month.
If you have more than one account in debt, you will have to find the debt elimination method that will be most effective for you. Here are some proven approaches to help you pay off credit card debt and stay debt-free for the long-haul.
The Avalanche Method: This method helps consumers pay off their debt by paying off their accounts in order from highest interest rate to the lowest. Here’s how it works.
Each month you will continue to make the minimum payment on all of your accounts, but you will then focus on putting as much extra money as possible toward the account with the highest interest rate. As you begin paying off accounts, you will have more money to put towards the other debts (and you’ll be losing less money to interest along the way).
The Snowball Method: With this method, you’ll pay off your debts by tackling those with the smallest balance first and working your way to those with the largest.
Like the Avalanche Method, each month you will make the minimum payment on all accounts. Then, you will put as much money as possible toward the account with the smallest balance. With this method, consumers not only will gain satisfaction in closing off accounts earlier on in their debt elimination program, but they will also be improving their credit scores along the way as they will have lower credit utilization on individual credit cards and have fewer open accounts with outstanding balances.
Personal Loan: Attempting to pay off credit card debt directly is usually the best financial strategy, but there are situations when the debt is too deep and overwhelming that it is worth considering a different approach.
One such approach is consolidating and paying off your credit card debt with a personal loan. While you will still carry the debt and have to be very careful that you don’t make your situation worse, you will be responsible for just one monthly payment for the personal loan, which generally has lower interest rates than credit cards so you end up paying less money overall. Moreover, your credit scores could improve because the debt of your credit cards will not be dragging down your score.
Debt Settlement: This option may help consumers who are past-due on their credit card payments and can afford to make a large, one-time settlement to their creditors. Before attempting a debt settlement, however, we recommend calling us at Jacobs Legal for guidance in negotiating the debt settlement terms. Often the outcome in a debt settlement results in you as the debtor paying roughly half or less of the original balance.
These and other debt elimination methods can be effective strategies for saying good-bye to credit card debt once and for all. For more guidance and legal advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Jacobs Legal.