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Strategies for paying off multiple credit card debts

Consumers in Oregon struggling to make payments on multiple credit card balances each month are not alone, according to a 2014 Gallup Poll. The survey indicates that the average credit card owner in the United States has 3.7 cards. Of these, 20 percent typically do not pay off the full amount each month. The average amount of debt among credit card holders is over $3,500. Bankrate.com suggests that a credit card payoff strategy may be helpful in eliminating the debt and freeing up disposable funds each month.

Rather than dividing up the amount paid to each card, some financial experts recommend paying the minimum amount on all but one card. All money that is available for payment should be used to pay down that card rather than being divided up among the others. Once that card is paid off, the extra funds go toward the next card, and the amount is higher because the minimum payment of the first card is added to the amount being paid. The order in which the cards are paid off could be lowest amount to highest so that the smaller debts are eliminated quickly. Paying off the card with the highest interest rate first is another strategy that is often recommended.

A balance transfer card is another method of reducing credit card debt. This type of card typically has a very low or zero percent introductory rate. By applying for and receiving a low-interest balance transfer credit card, a person can place all the debt on one account and pay it off quickly. When this method is used to reduce debt, a consumer has to be able to resist the urge to make purchases on the newly cleared cards while paying off the debt on the new card. Before applying for a balance transfer card, consumers are urged to evaluate fees as well as interest rates. Bankrate.com provides a balance transfer calculator that helps people determine how long it will take to pay off the combined debt at the new rate.

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