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Which Credit Card to Pay Off First

OnSugar Blog: Which Credit Card Should You Pay Off First?

If you're juggling multiple credit cards, read these tips from OnSugar blog Beauty and the Budget.

If you have accumulated credit card debt on multiple cards, deciding which credit card to eliminate can be tricky. In fact, it doesn't even have to be credit card debt. Maybe you got suckered into getting seven magazine subscriptions for the price of one (ahem . . . ) or some other gimmick that is ultimately draining your bank account.

For me, it's two credit cards and magazine subscriptions. Yes, I live and breath fashion magazines and absolutely love getting every single copy in the mail. But honestly, I pay $33 a month for reduced price magazine subscriptions from a circulation company, and I just can't afford it. I also have two credit cards — one with an ashamingly high amount of debt and another with a lesser amount. These three bills are the most annoying debts I owe. Especially the credit card with the most amount of debt because I have nothing to show for what has accumulated, except a fashion study tour in Hawaii and a Guess bag. Otherwise, I have no idea where the rest of it went.

For Beauty and the Budget's tips to paying off credit cards, read on.

Now that I'm working two jobs, I have a little extra money to pay off some of my debt. It's saddening in that I have to use the money I've worked so hard for on things I purchased nearly three years ago, but at least I can say I've learned my lesson — cash or bank debit card only for me from now on!


So how do you choose which debt to pay off first?

It makes more sense to pay of the higher credit card first, right? That way, I have the biggest financial burden taken care of. This is a good idea in theory, but psychologically it won't reduce my financial stress. Instead, if I pay the smaller debts off first, I'll get reaffirmation that I am quickly reaching my goals of being debt free. I've heard of this approach before, but I didn't know it had a name to it until now. This process is a part of Dave Ramsey's Snowball effect, which according to my research, is basically the following:

  1. Order your debts from lowest balance to highest balance.
  2. Designate a certain amount of money to pay toward debts each month.
  3. Pay the minimum payment on all debts except the one with the lowest balance.
  4. Throw every other penny at the debt with the lowest balance.
  5. When that debt is gone, do not alter the monthly amount used to pay debts, but throw all you can at the debt with the next-lowest balance.


Have you tried this approach before? Do you think it is a good idea?

I'd love to hear what you have to say in the comments below!

To read other great tips, visit the Beauty and the Budget blog. You can start your own OnSugar blog for a chance to be featured on the PopSugar Network.

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Jules729 Jules729 5 years
I'm broke as well and in TONS of debt. I was paying off my cards by attempting to pay off the bills with the highest percentage rates first. It is workinng out okay but I am not getting any affirmation that I am getting somewhere. Starting right now I am definitely going to pay the lowest first. It's going to feel good when bills actually disappear completely instead of just go down little by little!
bushra bushra 5 years
i'm giving this a go over the next few months, such an excellent tip!
lauren lauren 6 years
I think it is a great way to pay down debt! And since it can seem like endless battle, it is always good to have a win like paying something off! I did the same thing with my car payment when I bought it, I decided to throw all of my extra money at the debt that I could and within a year my car was paid off. It felt great to no longer have that payment. Good luck and hope you report back what works for you!
malchristine malchristine 6 years
Wow, I can totally relate! I have my credit card, then 2 other store credit cards to pay off every month. It's definately hard deciding which one to pay first. Thanks for the advice, great post!
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