A wise man once said that there were 2 things certain in life: death and income taxes. Many believe today that it should be 3 things: death, taxes and debt. For millions of people in this country, debts are an everyday burden. Even the world’s most advanced countries are in debt, forcing tough austerity measures on its people. For the everyday public, the anxious feeling to owe money for long periods of time can sometimes be overwhelming.
The repayment on interest alone can sometimes prevent people from enjoying a normal life. Sometimes as much as 30% of peoples’ salary can go toward debt interest alone, forcing lots of people to live a miserable life. However, if this sounds like you then please understand that it doesn’t have to be like this. This guide will show you 3 simple ways you can cut down your credit card debt faster.
Call it a debt card not a credit card
There is a reason why credit cards are not called debt cards, and it’s a psychological one. Companies know that the word debt scares customers, so they never use it. Think about it, every month they say they send you a credit card statement, not a debt bill. The huge card companies want you to continue to use your cards; they can only survive and grow if you keep on using their plastic rectangles.
Therefore from now on try calling your cards “debt cards” instead of credit cards. This will have 2 psychological results. The first will prevent you from using it too often, for example when buying snacks or clothes you don’t need. Knowing you’re using a debt card to pay for milk, rather than cash, will make it feel less convenient. The second result will be an urgency to repay the balance. If you charge something on a debt card, you will place a higher level of importance to pay this debt off as soon as possible.
Pay it off with your full salary, then use your card for everything
This is a simple yet dramatic sounding method but will guarantee your debts are paid off faster. Financial experts always advise to pay more than the minimum credit card payment, but why not go one step further? With this more advanced method, you will be paying your full salary (or as close as you can) off your card debt balance first, and then using your card to pay for everything else throughout the month.
For example; let’s say you get paid $1000 salary, but you owe $1200 on your card with a minimum payment of $90. Rather than paying the $90 credit card bill and keeping the rest in your account to pay for food and other expenses, you should instead pay your full salary on to the card, then use that to pay for food/gas/bills etc. Now obviously you need to check first with the companies you normally pay that they can accept payment via a credit card, but apart from perhaps your mortgage or rent then everything else should be good to be used on the credit card.
The result of this method is a lower interest rate paid and a cut down of impulse spending while you’re in debt. This method is a powerful one and if everyone in the country did this, not only would we be all out of debt faster, most credit cards companies would soon go bust, which may not be a bad thing.
Transfer your credit card balance to another cheaper card
This final method sounds obvious, but it is the fastest and easiest way to pay off your debt faster. The reason it takes so long to pay off a credit card bill is because of all the monthly interest. The rate at which you pay this interest often determines the amount of time it will take you to pay your debt off. Worse still, the interest can go up in the future. It’s therefore vital to be on the lowest interest rate possible.
Apart from laziness, there are two main reasons why most people don’t transfer their balance to another more competitive credit card. The first is brand loyalty, they may have had the same credit card for 10 years and it has a special place in their wallets. Well forget about all that. To the credit card company you’re just a number, worse you’re a number that they make money out of. You need to kill this friendship with them fast. The 2nd reason people don’t transfer their balance is because they worry they have a poor credit and nobody else will accept them.
In these times however, there are millions of us with less than perfect credit scores, yet every week thousands of people open new card accounts. Unless you try you will never know. Remember if your current card interest rate is 22%, yet you can move to 13% with another credit card company, then do it. That 9% every month will make a huge difference.
So there are your top 3 simple steps to paying off your credit card faster. From now on you should be calling it a debt card, using your salary to pay it off then using your card to make your everyday purchases and finally transferring your balance to a more competitive interest rate. Credit cards can be useful but they can also be a very expensive way to live your life. Once you follow the above steps you should have your balance paid off much sooner than you thought. This will be bad news for your credit card company and good news for you and your family.