Here are ten simple tips to help you pay off your credit card debts sooner. First the boring bit: the first three steps are boring but vital. If you want to take control, you have to know what's going on. Taking control of your finances can feel like a straitjacket, so plan in some light relief for when you achieve each step – but make sure it does not cost much money. For example, when you've done step one, invite some friends round for a meal, or go for a walk in a favorite park, or treat yourself to time listening to your favorite album. Repeat your mini-celebrations as you achieve each step.
1. It's likely that if you have a credit card debt, you've got some other debt too. But whether you have or you have not the first thing you need to do is make a total of all your debts. Do not hide anything – do not pretend it is not a debt. The more honest you are with yourself, the sooner you'll get financial control back in your life.
2. Once you've got all your debts listed and total, make a check on all your regular outgoings for credit cards, food, rent, bills, gas, whatever – weekly, monthly and yearly. For the weekly and yearly ones, convert them into monthly figures. You should now have a clear picture of your regular outgoings as well as how much debt you have.
3. Now what's your monthly income? This figure should be the amount that goes into your paycheck before anything else comes out. Subtract your month outgoings from your monthly income. Hopefully the figure you've got has a sign in front of it! But even if it does not, now's the time to move on to stage 4.
4. How many credit cards do you have? How many loans? You've already totaled the amount of debt. Now you need to get clear about how spread out it is. Debts spread out like an octopus are not a good idea. You end up losing track of some and trying to juggle between them – and all that does is increase your debt.
5. We're talking here about credit card debt, so the next step is to gather all your credit card debts onto one card. You can either use one card to pay off others (use the one with the lowest APR interest). But this is usually a good opportunity to search for a new card with a really low or even interest free offer. You can find these at the American Credit Cards Guide (see link below).
6. When you've got your new card, pay off all the other credit cards immediately and destroy them. No hesitating here. You have to destroy the old cards.
7. Also, immediately set up an automatic payment (to pay the new credit card) to come out of your bank account the day after your salary goes in. This is so you do not see the money in your account and think you've got more money than you really do have.
8. Set the repayment level to at least the total of whatever you paid before when you were paying off multiple cards. For example, if you had five credit cards and you were paying $ 100 a month, now you are paying at least $ 100 a month to one card.
9. Hide your new card until you have paid off your consolidated debt.
10. Finally be careful about switching cards too often – it might not look good on your credit profile.
For a simple, easy to use guide to available credit cards in the USA check out American Credit Cards Guide – see below for link.