There are so many reasons why you should be paying off high-interest, bad consumer credit card debt. We know that interest payments are simply put, a waste of your hard earned money, and carrying a large amount of debt can be detrimental to your credit score and your ability to get good interest rates on future loans. An article titled "First, Self-Control. Then, Debt Control" was published in the New York Times, and positioned debt in a different way: instead of thinking of paying off debt now as a form of self-denial, think about it as a way to have more money to spend on yourself later. Find out the Times' tips on how to be debt-free when you
Most Americans are carrying around $9,000 in credit card debt, and if you're paying only the minimum at 18 percent interest, it would take 47 years and $23,994 in interest to pay off the balance if no other purchases are made using the card. Make sure you don't end up with decades of debt by adhering to the following steps.
- As with most issues, you need to admit there's a problem before committing to a solution.
- If figuring out a debt repayment strategy is too much to handle, every state has nonprofit credit counseling agencies that can be located on the National Foundation for Credit Counseling website.
- Look at your income and expenses, and if you can't cut back in spending then figure out a way to make more money.
- Pay off debts with the highest interest rate first.
- Instead of signing up for the credit card offers that arrive in your mailbox, use them as leverage with your existing card company to get a lower rate.
- Don't have high expectations about your credit score — it won't correct itself overnight, so don't be discouraged when it doesn't immediately jump.