Here’s what to do if you’re drowning in credit card debt with no end in sight.
There are different reasons why people end up with credit card debt. Perhaps you’ve come across a series of surprise home repairs that you had no choice but to charge for. Or maybe your debt is the result of medical bills.
Either way, if it’s getting harder and harder to keep track of your credit card bills, it’s time to act and break this cycle. Here’s how.
1. Increase your income with a second job
Once you’ve built up a credit card balance, it can be difficult to get out of that hole. This is because the longer you hold a balance, the more interest you will earn. Eventually, your minimum payments might get so high that you won’t be able to keep up with them.
A good way out of this cycle is to boost your income. This way, you can pay off your debt faster and prevent interest from accumulating. A great way to increase your income is to get a side business.
You can choose from many types of side shakes. If your main job isn’t too demanding, you can work evenings at a local store or business. If you need flexibility, find a job you can do from home, or one with hours you can dictate, like driving for a rideshare company or working for a grocery delivery service.
2. Consolidate your debt
If your credit card bills keep climbing, a main reason may be that you’re not only earning interest, but doing it at a high rate. If you can manage to lower the interest rate on your debt, those credit card bills might become more manageable.
You have a few options for tackling credit card interest. First, you can see if you qualify for a balance transfer, where you transfer your existing balances to a single card with a lower interest rate. You might even be able to find a card with a 0% introductory rate.
Then you can see how to consolidate your credit card bills into the form of a personal loan. The loan you get may have a much lower interest rate than your cards charge.
Now you should know that the better your credit score, the more likely you are to be approved for a balance transfer or for a personal loan with a competitive interest rate. Having a lot of debt can make it difficult to maintain a good credit rating. But if you’ve made all of your minimum credit card payments on time, your score may be strong enough to support a balance transfer or a personal loan.
3. Rethink some major expenses
Changing your lifestyle is not an easy thing to do. But if you are really struggling with massive credit card bills, you might have to offload some big expenses to free up money to get rid of it. This could mean trading in your car for a much cheaper car or reducing your living space to lower your rental costs.
If you already lead a lean lifestyle, you might not have a lot of major expenses to cut back. But if you know you’re renting a house that costs more than you can comfortably afford (or one that’s to become too expensive considering your credit card bills), then moving is an option to consider, if you can do it inexpensively.
Also, keep in mind that the changes you make may be temporary. If spending elimination helps you get out of debt, then you can start spending more money once those stubborn bills are gone and you successfully consolidate your finances.
Having credit card bills hanging over your head can be stressful and costly. If this is the boat you’re in, these steps could be your ticket to a more positive financial image.