Much like losing weight or making any other significant change in one's life, reducing debt takes time, planning and effort. Credit card debt may be the most challenging obstacle in the path to financial freedom, but the process can be successful when the right steps are taken. Michigan readers may benefit from a recent report offering advice on how to best manage credit card debt.
The first piece of advice is to stop actively using credit cards. The more that the cards are used, the higher the balance may climb, causing more debt and the potential for delinquency. Some go so far as to advise consumers to freeze their cards in a block of ice so that they cannot readily access them. While that may be a bit extreme, it does make sense to spend money only on what is necessary -- with perhaps only a few modest splurges. Simply cutting visits to the coffeehouse or eating out can make a tremendous difference.
It is also advised that consumers pay as much as they can afford each month. The more money applied to the credit card bill, the less ultimately will be owed. Even small savings from coupons or spare change can go a long way over time. When feasible, doubling up on payments can make an even more significant dent in paying off this debt. As far as choosing which debt to pay down first, many recommend that credit card debt with the highest interest rates be paid down first.
Paying down credit card debt is challenging for many Michigan consumers. The task can seem depressing and daunting. Fortunately, consumers do not have to sacrifice their entire lifestyle in order to pay off debt, even though changes may have to be made. Every consumer's financial situation is different and requires an individualized plan for debt relief. With the right mix of support, planning and determination, debt relief can ultimately be successful.
Source: MSN Money, 8 smart ways to pay off debt fast, No author, Jan. 14, 2014