By Amanda Coffey | May 5, 2017
Credit cards are so enticing, payday is a little while away and you really want to buy that outfit for your friend’s birthday at the weekend, you think the minimum monthly repayment is more than manageable. Last month was the same, a few bits here and there and before you know it you’re a year into a monthly credit card spending habit and you’ve racked up a €3000 credit card bill. According to statistics released by the Central Bank, 49% of all personal credit card expenditure in December 2016 was for the retail sector alone.You may have had other good reasons for running up high-interest debt; maybe you unexpectedly lost your job, or endured an unforeseen illness. Regardless of the cause, ridding yourself of that balance should be your first financial priority. So, you’ve found yourself trapped in the debt cycle, how do you tackle it? We’ve listed below 5 strategies to help with eliminating the balance.
5 Smart Strategies to Eliminate Your Credit Card Bill
1. Quit the Habit. First thing’s first, quit using the plastic until the balance is paid off. Credit cards can be one of the most expensive ways of borrowing money, so if you want to clear your debt you will need to stop adding to the bill and take a break from using it altogether.
2. Target just one card first. If you’re carrying balances on multiple cards, it’s a long journey to wiping out those debts. If you set yourself a short-term financial goal and stick to it, it will make you feel as though you’re making meaningful progress on debt reduction. Ridding yourself of one credit card bill will provide you with a boost of instant gratification and motivate you to tackle the others, if any. To rid yourself of credit card debt as quickly as possible, you will need to put as much money as you can toward the credit card with the lowest balance first. Even if you need to pay the minimum on your other cards in the meantime. If however, your goal is to pay less in interest, then you will need to pay off the card that has the highest rate first.
3. Ask your creditors for lower interest rates. You know the old saying, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Often a simple phone call to the credit card company is all it takes to get a reduced rate, provided you are a long-term customer, have good credit and you make your payments on time. You could get a percentage point or two taken off, which could add up to hundreds of euro saved annually. Another tip you could try is if you’ve been offered a lower rate by a competitor, you should tell the customer-service rep, there’s a chance they’ll match the offer.
4. If you’re really strapped, make two minimum payments each month. The sooner you make a payment, the faster your balance will reduce, which will result into less interest that you ultimately pay. If you’re already on a tight budget, then go ahead and pay the minimum due each month, but try to make the same payment again two weeks later. You should keep making a payment of the initial minimum-due amount twice a month until your balance is paid off. (To help keep on track of it, put a reminder on your calendar or phone.) Increasing your repayments each month, even a little, can reduce the time it will take you to rid yourself of the debt. You can check out the credit card calculator from consumerhelp.ie which will show you how long it will take to clear the balance of your current repayments and compare that to how long it will take if you increase your current repayments by clicking here
5. Consolidate your Debt. Lastly, but by no means least, if you can’t cope with handling the debt from multiple creditors, you can transfer your debt to us for an easy to manage monthly amount. You can check out our switcher loan calculator to see how much you can save. We try to make it as easy as possible for you to apply for a loan so we try to take the stress and worry out of it for you! Firstly, you need to be a member to apply. If you’re not already a member, join the club