According to CardTrak.com
, the average American household now carries a staggering $6,600 in credit card debt. When you consider that the interest rates on credit cards can range anywhere from 9% to 21%, the cost of carrying a balance on those cards can place dangerous pressure on personal finances which are already stretched tight. If you really need to use those nasty little plastic debt generators, you need to be smart about it. The following tips, some of which are provided by Investopedia.com
can give you an edge in winning the battle against debilitating credit card debt.
- If you have multiple credit card balances, make your largest payment each month against the balance with the highest interest rate.
- Make a budget plan for eliminating credit card debt. Track your spending and avoid frivolous purchases until you have your credit picture under control.
- Avoid taking on new debts while you address old ones.
- Try to eliminate the practice of taking cash advances on credit cards. Those advances can be the most expensive type of credit card use.
- Switch from credit card usage to a debit card. Debit cards are a consumer blessing because they work similar to credit cards but you're spending money which you already have. The best part is that debit cards have no finance charges attached.
- Once you have your credit cards under control, try to keep your monthly credit purchases at a level that you can pay in full each month.
Credit cards can be a useful and beneficial financial tool but they can also quickly pave a path to disaster. Keep credit spending within the borders provided by your income. Make a monthly budget which includes a plan for credit debt reduction. Read your credit card agreement and monthly card statements so you understand the finance charges you are paying and if all else fails, destroy those cards before they put you in financial trouble.