Through the holidays, you probably didn’t think much about money as you tried to make the season merry for your kids. It’s the struggle every parent faces each year, regardless of how many or few presents they buy. We just want our kids to be happy. However, the day that first credit card statement comes in can still hit hard.
If you are still struggling to pay those bills, here are four tips you can follow to help get out of credit card debt.
1. Pay off cards individually
Most of us have more than one credit card and use them for different reasons: One is for emergencies, one is for a specific store, one gets more points and is useful for big purchases, and so on. When it comes time to pay the statements, continue to see this debt individually rather than one sum. Pay off one card at a time rather than trying to pay a little off each card.
2. Tackle the lowest balance first
When choosing which card to start with, your best chance at successfully paying off debt is to start with the lowest balance. It can be a confidence boost to see one of your balances hit $0, which could provide a needed sense of peace while completing what seems like a monumental task.
3. Consider the interest rates
The one exception to choosing the lowest balance first is if you have a card with a particularly high interest rate. Leaving that card to continue collecting interest could make debt repayment more difficult. If your interest rates are comparable, it’s great to start with the lowest balance. However, if your interest rates vary more significantly, start with the card with the higher interest rate.
4. Apply for a 0% APR balance card
If you can qualify for a 0% APR credit card, that could eliminate the interest rate concerns. These types of credit cards allow you to have 0% interest on your debt for a limited time and transfer your existing credit card debt to the new card. If you choose this route, make sure you know how long 0% APR lasts on the new card and have a plan to attempt paying it off well before that end date.
These tips can help ease the worry credit card debt causes and allow families to create an action plan that is realistic.