Credit card debt can be a daunting problem to have to deal with. And getting rid of credit card debt can seem like an impossible task.
Lack of education is the primary cause of credit card debt in America. Like anything in life, if you’ve never received proper instruction on how to do something — it’s going to be difficult to do whatever it is you’re trying to do. If you need to replace your car engine, unless you’ve gone to automotive mechanic school, you wouldn’t even know where to start. However; for a mechanic, replacing your car engine is easy.
Today’s list of “31 ways to get rid of credit card debt” — is a surefire resource to help you eliminate credit card debt from your life. This quick guide will make it easy for you to eradicate credit card debt, just like a financial guru could do. Select a few of the ways below that work for your particular situation and then get started on your mission to permanently get rid of credit card debt.
Without further delay, let’s get started!
We are about to unlock 31 ways to get rid of credit card debt & stay credit card debt-free!
1. Stop using your cards
Scientifically, it’s been proven that if you pay with cash, you will be more aware and spend less.
2. Make a budget
The idea is first to figure out where the heck all your money is going each month. You can then separate your fixed expenses, from your unrealistic and variable expenses. Certain expenses can be eliminated or reduced. For example; you can reduce your electric bill. You can remove the $100 spent at the bar every Friday night. By using a budget in this way, is how you free-up money so that you can pay off debt.
3. Get a home equity line of credit to pay off credit cards
If you own a home and have sufficient equity in it; — get a home equity line of credit and use it to pay off your credit card debt. No rule says you must use your home equity line of credit for something related to your property; you can use it for whatever you want!
Using a home equity line of credit to pay off credit card debt is a much better option, over getting your typical “bank loan.” It is common; to get a home equity line of credit where your interest rate could be below 6%.
The downside is that you must have good credit, own a home and have enough equity in it — to get a home equity line of credit.
4. Increase your income
There are a countless number of ways to increase your income; here are just a few:
– Start a blog
– Join affiliate networking sites
– Sell unused items
– Train pets
– Walk dogs
– Mow loans
– House sit
– Become an Uber or Lyft driver
5. Get a low-interest debt consolidation credit card to pay-off your other credit cards
Some debt consolidation credit cards have a zero percent interest rate. According to Nerdwallet; “some credit cards charge no interest for a promotional period, often 12 to 18 months, and allows you to transfer all your other credit card balances over to it. You’ll need a good to excellent credit score — above 690 — to qualify for most cards.
Make a budget to pay off your debt by the end of the introductory period because any remaining balance after that time will be subject to a regular credit card interest rate.
Most issuers charge a balance transfer fee of around 3%, and some also charge an annual fee. Before you choose a card, calculate whether the interest you save over time will wipe out the cost of the fee.”
6. Debt settlement
A debt settlement program could get rid of your credit card debt much faster than if you were to continue paying only minimum payments on your own.
Use this debt calculator to get a quote on how long it would take to get rid of your credit card debt.
Debt settlement programs will lower your credit score, but if you want to eliminate credit card debt fast, debt settlement can be a perfect solution! Learn more about debt settlement services…https://nomorecreditcards.com/debt-settlement-services/
7. Consumer credit counseling
A consumer credit counseling program will lower your interest rates and pay off all of your credit card balances within five years.
DebtWave Consumer Credit Counseling is one of the most reputable non-profit consumer credit counseling companies in the nation.
A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will get rid of all your credit card debt. You will not have to pay it.
According to Oak Tree Law; “When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, either most or all of your unsecured debt that is non-priority is wiped out. Unsecured debt means debt that is not attached to a property such as a car or house. Unsecured debt includes things like medical bills, utility bills, payday loans, purchases, etc.”
9. Debt validation
You have the legal right to use debt validation before paying a debt, where you dispute the debt. You are not disputing that it’s not your debt and that they have the wrong person. Debt validation is forcing a debt collection company to prove that the debt collection company is abiding by the federal laws such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), reporting accurate information, and maintaining all of the documentation required by federal laws to collect on a debt.
If they can’t validate and prove they are abiding by the laws and verify the debt with all of the legally required materials — the end result is that you don’t have to pay it.
If a debt collector calls you and says you owe $1 — you can dispute that alleged debt in writing or use a debt validation program — where now the debt collector needs to prove the debt is valid before you have to pay it.
If they can’t prove it or if they added in unauthorized charges to come up with that amount — the debt becomes legally uncollectible. A legally uncollectible debt is one that you don’t have to pay, and the debt collection company can no longer legally report the negative marks on your credit report.
Think of it like a speeding ticket and how a lawyer can challenge it — and get it dismissed. Debt is not the same as a speeding ticket, but similar by nature.
If the police officer wrote the wrong date or license plate number on the ticket -– the ticket gets DISMISSED under the court of law.
At court, the lawyer may request to review certain required documents, such as; the documentation illustrating what type of instrument was used to calibrate the speed at which they are alleging you were doing, and if the police officer can’t provide these required legal documents -– the ticket gets DISMISSED.
10. Debt dismissal
A credit card debt could get dismissed, similar to how a speeding ticket getting dismissed.
If a credit card company violates your legal rights under the Credit Card Act or any law, you can hire a lawyer to sue the credit card company. In many cases, the credit card company will then dismiss your debt to avoid a lawsuit. A competent lawyer will use the legal violation as leverage, holding it over the creditors head. The lawyer says; “you can either dismiss this debt or we are suing you over this violation that we have proof of.”
Some attorney debt settlement programs incorporate using this approach to getting rid of credit card debt when creditors violate their client’s rights.
11. Borrow money from family member
Taking a loan from a relative can be an interest-free loan. However; if you borrow more than $14,000 from a family member — “charge Interest.” Make it seem like an “official bank loan” — to keep the IRS off your back!
It’s simple to write up a legal loan; it can be as easy as; “Write a note that shows the loan amount, when it will be paid back, the rate of interest, and any collateral or security.” Both of you must sign and date it, to make it an official loan document. Learn more about this subject at TaxAct…
12. Use the Dave Ramsey Approach
List your debts in order, with the smallest balance first. (small to big)
Pay minimum payments on everything but the account with the smallest balance.
Aggressively attack the debt with the smallest balance! Any extra money that you can find, put towards paying the account with the smallest balance first. Once that debt is gone you will now have one less debt to pay each month, increasing your overall available cash-flow so that you can put more towards the next debt that you are about to attack.
Every time the snowball picks up more snow (every time you pay off a debt and accumulate more cash-flow) — you can use the momentum to continue attacking one account at a time until you get rid of all your credit card debts!
The easiest way to learn Dave Ramsey’s methods — is to check out this Dave Ramsey info-graphic that summarizes his entire book in one image!
13. Pay off the card with the smallest balance first
Even if you don’t use the Dave Ramsey method to pay off your debt, you can still focus on paying off the smallest balance first. Paying off the smallest debt first will be your quickest route to getting one of your debts paid in full, putting you that much closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. Your confidence and belief in yourself will quickly rise after you pay off a debt, motivating you to pay off the second account. It’s like, just take that first step… Now you know you can do it. You’ve experienced success already. “One down, four to go!”
14. Debt consolidation
Debt consolidation is when a person takes out a loan to pay off debt, but in this case, you will be paying off your credit card debt. Make sure to get a low-interest loan so that you don’t dig yourself deeper into debt.
Debt consolidation is one of the fastest methods to eliminate credit card debt. Your credit card debt will disappear within a few months.
15. Burn your cards – literally, get rid of your credit cards!
Tear them up and never use them again, and then get obsessed with paying them off, where nothing else matters but getting out of credit card debt.
Hold off on donating to the church, hold off on going out to dinner, and just use every extra dollar to pay down your credit cards. You can even use a credit card relief program, where you can pay less than the full balance owed on each account and become debt free in under three years.
Call Golden Financial Services Toll-Free at 1-866-376-9846 to speak to an IAPDA Certified Specialist for Free Debt Relief Advice.
16. Call the credit card company requesting a lower interest rate
If you can lower your interest rate — you can reduce your balances faster because more of the money that you pay will go towards the principle.
Before calling your credit card company, make sure to organize your thoughts regarding;
Do you have a valid reason or financial hardship? Get all of the facts straight. The credit card customer service will have detailed notes about your payment history, so there will be — no fooling them!
Take Charge America explains the Do’s and Don’ts of Negotiating Credit Card Interest Rates.
17. Cut other expenses
Reducing or eliminating other expenses is a must!
Start by reducing your cable bill, do you need every channel?
Another way to cut expenses is to reduce your other monthly bills. Consolidate your student loans and get on a small monthly repayment plan. You can refinance your home to get a lower monthly payment.
Here are another 40 more ways to cut your monthly expenses, provided by The Simple Dollar.
18. Never let your credit card balances go above 30% of your credit limit
The “utilization” on your credit cards is a major factor that helps to determine your credit score. It helps to increase your credit score when you are utilizing less than 30% of what your credit limit is. This also keeps you out of high credit card debt!
Example: If you have a credit card account that has a $500 limit and your balance is below $150, that’s an example of keeping your balance below 30% of what your limit is… Continue reading…
19. Always pay your credit card balance “in full” and BEFORE the bill arrives
It may be too late for you to follow this step right now, but eventually, start paying your balances “in full,” and before the bills even arrive!
By paying your balance “in full,” you will avoid interest and guarantee that you never get into credit card debt.
Additionally, the more you use your credit card and pay the balance in full, the faster your credit score and credit limit will rise.
20. Don’t ever take out cash advances
“Cash advances have their own APR (separate from your purchase APR), which sits much higher than a credit card’s purchase APR — it will be detailed on your statement. For example, you may have a purchase APR of 15%, while your cash advance APR sits at 23%. Additionally, cash advances accrue interest immediately, which means you’ll have to pay it off the same day you take out the cash if you want to completely avoid interest. On top of that, you will be charged a fee for cash advances. This fee usually ranges from 3% to 5% of the total transaction”… Continue reading on NextAdvisor.com…
21. Find new ways to save money, so that the extra money can go towards paying off your credit card debts
Start by turning off the lights and the air conditioner to save money.
You can carpool to work to reduce gas expenses.
You can pack a lunch for work, rather than eating at expensive places every day.
Here’s another great way to save extra money… Review every subscription or membership that you have that charges you every month — and cancel any memberships that you don’t need. You can use the money you will be saving each month — to pay off your credit card debt.
There are hundred’s of ways to save money, just start by proactively thinking about saving money throughout your day and the opportunity to save will appear more than you think.
22. Get a second job
– Become a receptionist
– Become a driver (taxi or Uber)
– Become a recruiter (more than 3,000 openings in the United States)
– Become a blogger ($28 per hour – average pay)
23. Pay off the highest interest accounts first
Whatever credit card carries the highest interest rate is the one costing you the most money. Pay your most expensive credit card off first! This point needs no further explanation, it’s common sense.
24. Limit the number of credit cards
The few credit cards you have, the less desire you will have to spend on unnecessary items. Don’t have more than 5-6 credit cards.
If you do have more than six credit cards as of today, don’t cancel any of them because that would lower your credit score — so at this point just keep them open and get the balance paid in full. You can cut them up and even flush them down the toilet, but keep them open.
25. Never pay minimum payments only
If you pay only the minimum payment on a credit card, it could take 5-10 years to pay off. In some cases, it will never get paid off, which means you could be paying on that credit card for the rest of your life.
Try this debt calculator to see the scary reality with your own eyes!
26. Always use autopay
Go online to your credit card company’s website and set your autopay to pay off the entire balance every month, this way you cannot forget to make a payment and you will never rack up credit card debt.
If you are unsure about how to set this up, simply call the number on the back of your credit card and ask the customer service representative to walk you thru setting up autopay.
27. Talk to the bank
Banks will sometimes waive late fees and reduce monthly payments through their hardship department if you have a legitimate financial hardship. Just make sure to call prepared, have all of the facts written on a piece of paper before calling. Express your desire to pay off the balance in full and see if the bank will work with you directly on a reduced payment plan to get out of debt. If not, contact a debt relief company like Golden Financial Services to assist you with getting on an affordable payment plan to become debt-free.
28. Use the Law of Attraction
Close your eyes and visualize yourself debt-free, seeing your statement balance showing “$0)”. See yourself being conservative and having will-power to hold-off buying everything that your heart desires. Imagine a practical situation in your day, where you are able to successfully maintain strong will-power and say no to certain purchases that you normally can’t resist. The key to visualizing is to make it seem real. The Law of Attraction can be one of your most powerful tools to getting rid of a credit card debt. If you see it happening enough times, eventually your thoughts will become the new reality!
29. Build a small emergency fund. (Dave Ramsey’s Method)
“You’ll never get out of the vicious cycle of debt without a mini emergency fund. Before you start attacking the debt, protect yourself from the left hooks life throws at you with a $1,000 emergency fund. Can you do that in 30 days? If that sounds ridiculous, I challenge you to think about what could be done to pull that money together. You’ll be surprised how creative you are when you give your life direction.”
30. Use the Statute of Limitations
Credit Expert Gerri Detweiler’s explains it best:
“Research the statute of limitations for your debt. This is sometimes easier said than done since state laws aren’t always cut and dry when it comes to defining how long a debt collector can sue to collect certain types of debt. But a good place to start is to type the words “site:Nationallist.com + (insert the name of your state) + consumer statute of limitations” into a search engine. Your state attorney general’s office may be able to help as well. If you believe the statute of limitations has expired for your debt, communicate that to the collector in writing. You have the right under federal law to ask a collector to stop contacting you.”
31. 401(K) Loan
You can borrow off your 401(K) to pay off credit card debt; however, it is important to understand the ramifications of doing so.
Going in with your eyes wide-open could keep you from unpleasant surprises later.
First of all, unless you have contributed to a Roth 401(k) plan, anything you take out is taxable. To be conservative, you should plan on being taxed at around 25%, especially since distributions can cause you to bump tax brackets. Your employer is required to withhold 20% before giving you the funds, so before we even get to the next step, saving the other 5% is a good idea.
Next, if you are under age 59 ½, the distribution is going to be subject to an additional 10% tax for taking the funds out early. Again, since only 20% is being withheld, saving this 10% is important to keep from having tax problems when you get ready to file your income tax returns for the year. And, let’s not forget state income taxes. Depending on where you live, those taxes can be as much as another 10%. Your employer may withhold some of those, as well, but you need to be clear on that part of the equation also.
Now, let’s recap where we are at, from a tax standpoint. There is regular Federal tax at 25%, plus the excise tax of 10%, plus potentially another 10% for state taxes. That is a whopping 45% that could potentially be owed on the funds coming out of your 401(k). So, before you go this route, you really need to consider the taxes. Is it worth it? The amount left over after taxes could be much lower than you had originally anticipated. Talking to a qualified tax professional about this is probably a smart move. Continue reading about using your 401(K) to pay off debt…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Paul Paquin is the CEO at Golden Financial Services. Paul started Golden Financial Services back in 2004, and today Golden Financial Services offers the most effective debt relief programs in the nation. Paul loves to blog about effective ways to get rid of debt, helping people to improve their quality of life. Continue reading Paul’s online biography…