How to Reduce or Eliminate Credit Card Debt Fast

Elizabeth Johnson

Financial Advisor
Updated: 07/2019

How to Reduce or Eliminate Credit Card Debt Fast

In This Article

Ways to Reduce Credit Card Debt Quickly

Credit card debt is one of the most common debt today, with nearly 80 percent of Americans sharing $931 billion in card debt alone. The average household debt on credit cards is nearly $16,000, nearly 30 percent of the yearly household median income.

These statistics alone go to show just how deep a hole Americans are in when it comes to credit cards. However, you can climb your way back up and emerge victorious with planning and discipline.

In this article, we will show you the different approaches on how you can eliminate credit card debt fast and regain your financial freedom.

How to Reduce or Eliminate Credit Card Debt Fast

Five Practical Ways to Eliminate Debt and Build Wealth

The easiest way not to have problems with reducing debt is not getting into debt in the first place. While finally being free of credit card debt can have a huge impact on your life financially, it is important that you take precautionary measures so as not to fall into the same hole again.

A debt is not necessarily bad especially for investments such as a house or a car. However, not all loans are justifiable, so you should target and remedy the causes you get into debt which you do not deem necessary.

Create a budget and stick to it

With a lot of recurring payment obligations that you have to worry about, it can feel like your money just vanished into thin air if you don’t create a budget. Creating a budget actually has a lot of benefits aside from keeping track of your finances.

For instance, it allows you to review your current expenditures and how big a part of your income it is taking. From there, you can assess if you can trim it down to afford to pay more than the monthly minimums on your credit card debt. You’d also be able to prioritize spending and even get rid of unnecessary expenses should your budget be a little tight.

Once you have made all the necessary adjustments on your budget, you have to stick to it – that’s the most important part. Having a clear sense of where you are financially should enable you to make the most of what you have and allow you to see the root of the problem: are you spending too much or you just don’t have enough money?

Add another stream of income

42 percent of Americans cited “making ends meet” as the primary reason they use credit cards. Therefore, it is a possibility that despite your good spending habits, eliminating debt would still be a huge concern. In some cases, it would not be possible at all. Thus, consider the only logical recourse if you always have to make ends meet: adding another stream of income.

Given that you are already in debt, it is not advisable for you to take out a loan to start a business unless you have a strong business plan and have done various case studies related on what you plan to do. Instead, take this as an opportunity to highlight skills or talents that you can turn into money-making opportunities.

Or, you can always just take another job to augment your monthly budget. Reducing debt isn’t rocket science. At least until your finances are more stable, another stream of income would help you make it through the end of each month.

Invest in your health and in your valuable assets

Aside from “making ends meet,” Americans cite medical expenses and car repairs as reasons why they use their credit card. This, here, greatly displays the value of investment. As morbid as it may sound, it’s simply a fact of life that your health will deteriorate and that anything valuable you have will soon lose its luster. They’re not exactly “unexpected” expenses, right? You can prepare for them.

Here, maintenance is key. Going to your doctor for regular checkups will allow you to cure any illness while it’s still easier and cheaper to cure it. A good medical coverage will keep you from maxing out all your cards when tragedy hits.

In the same way, going to your mechanic for regular engine maintenance may seem like an expense. However, consider what you’re getting in return for these regular visits – you’re prolonging the operating life of your car while also avoiding costly car repairs. 

Keep your cards out of sight and out of mind

If you have been so used to taking out your card for every purchase, then maybe it’s one of the reasons why you get into debt you can’t pay. To remedy the situation, you should just remove your cards from your wallet. It forces you to spend your cash and really “feel” the money getting out of your pocket… and your life.

Hopefully, this will teach you to be more responsible with your money and with what you spend it on. At the same time, it helps lower your credit card debt because you would only have to work on the existing balance instead of constantly worsening the problem with more unnecessary purchases.

Lower your credit limit

While more people are looking into increasing their credit limit, you can actually go the other direction. The option stated above may be very effective, but it means not being able to buy certain things even if it is an absolute emergency. So unless you always have extra cash at your disposal, that may not be viable.

In such cases, lowering your credit limit sets a lower threshold on the potential damage you’re able to do while also giving you some breathing room in case of a real emergency. To reiterate, not putting purchases on your card when you’re still paying your existing balance pays a great role in eliminating credit card debt fast.

How to Reduce or Eliminate Credit Card Debt Fast

How to Lower Credit Card Debt with the Help of Your Lender

What most people don’t know is that when it comes to getting their investments back, lenders are more than willing to come into an outcome agreeable to the both of you. You actually have leverage with unsecured loans like credit card debts because you can never go to jail for failing to meet such financial obligation.

That means even if you have been falling behind for a few months, you can still make up for it with these two tips:

Negotiate a lower interest rate… and pay off the balance as quickly as possible

Sky-high interest rates can feel overwhelming especially when you’re dead set on eliminating your credit card debts. To others, it can be downright discouraging. You can always call your lender and negotiate your rates so as not to further accrue interest on your existing balance.

Whether verbal or written, everything that you have agreed on with your bank is negotiable. From their perspective, it’s just a matter of drumming up another contract with the new terms. On your end, it’s just a matter of making them say yes.

Remember that this method is not guaranteed to work a hundred percent of the time, but you can always up your chances of getting them to drop your interest rates.

  1. Build your credit first if needed

Persons with higher credit rating and lower credit utilization rates are seen as less risky. Lenders believe that given their history, they are more likely to actually pay their balance. Meaning, they would be more willing to negotiate. Aside from a positive payment history, there are two ways you can build your credit quickly: get approved for a new credit card or decrease usage of existing credit cards.

It is also recommended that you review your credit report from all three major credit bureaus at least once a year to correct any discrepancy or error in the recording. While your efforts toward bettering your credit situation are important, it is just as necessary that what you are doing are being reflected correctly on your credit reports.

  1. Review offers from other credit card companies

Decreasing debt and interest payments may be possible just by pointing out to your lender that other companies are offering better deals. All credit card companies are in the business of making money and are always competing with similar businesses.

If you find a card similar to yours, note the terms, the card’s name, and the interest rate. It might just be the key to lower your credit card debt in the long run.

  1. Pay a significant amount on your outstanding balance

As we said, it is all a matter of making them say yes. Thus, you should make it easy for them to arrive at that conclusion. One of the most effective ways of doing so is by paying a huge amount on your current balance.

Even around 20 to 30 percent of your balance is large enough for them to recognize just how serious you are about eliminating your debt.

Offer to settle debt with a reduced lump sum payment

In debt settlement, you and your creditor negotiate that you pay a lower amount than your outstanding balance. It is considered a last resort next to bankruptcy as it tends to be very risky. During the course of the negotiations, your balance would still be accruing interest and fees.

Unlike the first option, this usually works if you have a substantial amount of cash on hand and if you can definitively prove or at least convince your creditor that you can’t afford to pay your current balance anymore. Debt settlement companies can mediate the transaction between you and the lending institution for a fee, but you can also do this on your own.

Should negotiations be successful, your “forgiven debt” – the amount you owed but did not pay – is subject to taxation as income.

How to Reduce or Eliminate Credit Card Debt Fast

Loans to Help You to Eliminate Debts Fast

If you want to reduce debt (or even eliminate it) almost instantaneously, applying for another loan will get you out of your financial trouble. It will clear your line of credit right away for usage. However, this is not in any way a free pass on your credit card debt. What you are doing is paying one debt with another debt with a lower interest rate. At best, this allows you to reduce debt fast by saving on interest payments.

Home Equity Loan and Home Equity Line of Credit (HEL/HELOC)

Your home equity is based on current market prices, so both HEL and HELOC best used when the housing market is up. Where they differ is the terms. For HEL, you are given the full amount once the loan gets approved. That means even if you don’t use it, it will still accrue on interests. On the other hand, HELOC works like a credit card – you have a credit limit and interest payments are computed from the amount you actually used.

What you are going to choose between the two depends entirely on how much you need to eliminate your credit card debts. What holds true for both is this: because you’re going to use your home equity as a collateral for this kind of loan, there certainly is a greater risk involved on your part. Should you fail to make your payments, you will lose your collateral.

Personal Loan

A personal loan is a term loan with fixed monthly payments for a predetermined period of time. How you use it depends entirely on you. Some people use it to augment business funds, to pay off medical bills, or in your case, to pay off your credit card debt. In fact some consider this the best way to pay off credit card debt. The problem with this loan is its approval rate is very low because it is unsecured. This means it is only available to people with high credit rating. If you do not qualify for a personal loan, you can have a cosigner with a better credit rating than yours to help you out.

Even if you qualify for it, you shouldn’t expect your interest rate to be so low. Because there is no collateral, lenders would view the very nature of this loan itself as a risk and assign a higher rate to compensate for that.

Balance Transfer

With balance transfer, you take advantage of the lower interest rate a competing credit card company offers. Most of the time, it is only an introductory rate applicable for a short period of time to get people to sign up. However, if you can allot a big chunk of your budget during this limited time, you are guaranteed to reduce credit card debt quickly.

More importantly, with a big part of your outstanding balance shaven off already, it would be easier for you to get out of debt even when the introductory rate expires. Note too that there may be associated fees with transferring your balance, so take that into account before making any rash decision.

Debt Consolidation Loan

A debt consolidation loan helps eliminate debt fast by negotiating with different creditors and paying them on your behalf. Instead of keeping up with different payment deadlines in a month, you would direct your fixed monthly payment (as assigned by the debt consolidation company) until such time that you no longer owe them.

Aside from credit card debts, you can actually roll other high-interest debts such as those from a personal loan here. While an adviser assigned to you can recommend which loans are best consolidated, it is still up to you which arrangement would suit you the most. Moreover, there will be corresponding fees for this service either as a percentage of the amount you will save with their help or as a fixed payment. No matter what the case, they are usually spread evenly until the end of your debt consolidation loan.

How to Reduce or Eliminate Credit Card Debt Fast

How to Lower Your Credit Card Debt on your Own

If you don’t want to include lending and financial institutions into getting rid of your debt, you can always employ debt elimination strategies on your own. However, this is NOT for you if:

  • Too big a part of your monthly income is going into paying off your lenders.
  • You feel like you’re paying too much in interest alone.
  • Even after cutting expenses and sticking to a strict budget, you still aren’t making progress into eliminating credit card debt.
  • Your quality of living is starting to erode because you are prioritizing your monthly payments over food and medical expenses.
  • You are looking for the fastest ways to reduce or eliminate debt

Instead, we advise that you seek help or explore other options such as those mentioned in other parts of this article. It may seem that some of those options may entail additional costs on your part, but remember that any unpaid balance will continue to accrue interest each month.

You don’t fit into any of the conditions we set? Here are the three debt elimination strategies that will help in decreasing or eliminating your credit card debt:

  1. Avalanche Method

Logically, the avalanche method is the best among the three methods. You get rid of credit card debts with high APR first while also making the minimum payments on the others.

In essence, by focusing on high-interest balances, you pay less and less every month on interest payments. By repeating the process until all your cards are paid off, you would be able to save thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, although this method makes the most sense financially, it does not suit everyone.

  1. Snowball Method

The debt snowball method is nearly the entire opposite of the avalanche method – you start with cards with the smallest balances first (regardless of their APR) and work your way up. Compared to the avalanche method, you would be losing thousands of dollars on this.

However, if you’re the kind of person who needs to be constantly motivated, this is best for you. You would be eliminating debts one by one, giving you the drive to continue until you’re debt-free.

  1. Blizzard Method

If you have enough to consistently allocate a great amount on two credit accounts at once, this might be worth considering. Essentially, the blizzard method is a combination of the first two methods – you pay aggressively on cards with the highest APR and the lowest balance. There are some cases where this method will work such as when the balance on your different cards doesn’t vary by thousands of dollars.

But for most cases, it can be counterintuitive. It does not make sense to not concentrate on your high-interest balances if you’re not going to eliminate your debt here as quickly as possible. At best, it would only be a band-aid solution.

Paying your credit card debts can be a daunting task, but having a system of sorts makes it easier for you to track your progress. If you feel that your current financial situation would improve even without outside help, you should still keep in mind that these debt elimination strategies would require a great deal of discipline on your part.

Conclusion

There is no one best way to eliminate credit card debt fast. What would be the best in your situation would depend on many factors such as:

  • Household size. If you have a family, you may not be at liberty to cut off expenditures to help reduce credit card debt.
  • Debt-to-income ratio. A different approach may be apter if your credit card debt is still manageable vs if it isn’t.
  • Credit rating. You may or may not be able to apply for some of the options included in this article depending on your credit rating.
  • Monthly income. A larger monthly income helps you maintain a decent way of living even when making progress on your credit card debt. The same advantage may not be enjoyed by lower income households.
  • Age of debt. Old enough debts may have been “forgiven” already depending on the statute of limitations in your state.

Among all the options presented to you here are no matter what your financial situation may be, reducing credit card debt as quickly as possible would always entail a great deal of discipline on your part. Reducing or even eliminating your debt fast is possible as long as you use cards right. Some people even choose to consolidate credit card debt to make making payments easier.

FAQ

How to Eliminate Credit Card Debt

Tackling credit card debt is never an easy feat. You can use the information available from these frequently asked questions (and their corresponding answers) to know more about how to get started.

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How to reduce credit card debt?

There are several steps you can take to reduce credit card debt. You must pay off the card with the highest interest rates first, or you can pay more than the minimum payment requirement. You can also try to negotiate with your credit card company about possibly lowering your interest rate (if you are unable to make the monthly payments).

How to reduce credit card debt without ruining credit?

You need to pay off your debts quickly. When you have extra money, put it towards your credit card payment. The sooner you can pay off your credit card, the sooner you can improve your credit score (and the less interest you have to pay).

How to reduce credit card debt on your own?

You do not need to hire a debt management company to get rid of credit card debt. To fix it on your own, you can work on paying off one card at a time. It is also important that you not use your card while you are trying to eliminate debt. If you can, make two minimum payments each month.

How to eliminate credit card debt fast?

To eliminate credit card debt fast, you should always pay more than the minimum. If you have some extra funds, you can tap into that and use it for your credit card payments. If you can find a card with zero balance transfer fees, you can take advantage of that to lower your interest rate. You can also opt for credit card debt relief offered by a number of companies.

How to eliminate credit card debt legally?

It is possible to eliminate credit card using legal means. One of the most proven methods is to pay off one card at a time – specifically focusing on credit cards with the highest interest rates first. Or, you can pay off the card with the smallest balance first. It is also important to practice money discipline to ensure you eliminate unnecessary expenses or do not acquire more debt.

What is the best way to eliminate credit card debt?

There is no such thing as the best way to eliminate credit card debt as it varies from one person to another. Decide on your monthly budget and pay your credit card with as much amount as you can afford each month.

How to reduce credit card debt quickly?

The first step is always to negotiate with your credit card company. See if you can possibly lower the amount you owe (if you promise to pay in lump sum) or if you can negotiate a lower interest rate. Streamline your budget so you can maximize the amount you pay towards your credit card debt. If you have to, make two minimum payments a month as that would help to chip away at your credit card debt quickly.

How to reduce credit card debt in a year?

Depending on the amount of credit card debt that you owe, you can possibly eliminate credit card debt in a year. This will work by knocking off debt one by one. You can target the credit card with the smallest balance or highest interest rate first. Either way, you can take advantage of the snowball effect.

How to eliminate unsecured credit card debt?

The first step to eliminating unsecured credit card debt is to stop spending so you won’t accumulate more debt. Focus on your goal of paying off your debt. Any extra saving you get from eliminating your unnecessary expenses can be used towards paying off your debt.

How to reduce credit card debt on a fixed income?

When you have a fixed income, it is important to evaluate your debt and take stock of your income. This will enable you to determine how much you can spend each month towards your credit card payments. Choose your payoff strategy and stick to it.

What steps can you take to reduce the amount of credit card debt?

There are several steps you can take to reduce your credit card debt. The most logical step is to stop using your card. Then, you must identify each account to determine which ones have the lowest balances or highest interest rates. Once you have chosen which card to pay off first, you must stick to that.

How to reduce credit card debt at a lower rate?

You need to get in touch with your credit card company about your inability to pay your debt at the current interest rate. Show them your commitment to pay off your credit card, which could mean adjusting the terms of your credit card debt. A longer term with lower interest rate is one of the options you have available.

How to reduce interest on closed credit card debt?

One option is to transfer the remaining balance to another credit card with lower interest rate. Many credit card companies offer zero fees on transferring card balances.

Which credit card condition has the greatest effect on a person's ability to reduce debt?

The minimum payments and length of payment term are some of the most important conditions that determine your ability to reduce debt. It determines how much you should pay for how long.

What is the best method on how to reduce credit card debt?

The snowball method is one of the most common methods used for reducing credit card debt. It is an efficient way to knock off your credit card debts one by one.

How to eliminate credit card debt in two years?

You can eliminate credit card debt in two years – depending on the amount you owe. It is important to stop your spending and avoid unnecessary expenses while you pay off your debt so you can maximize payment towards your credit card.

How to quickly eliminate 3000 credit card debt?

Always limit your spending and use whatever extra income you get towards payment for your credit card. It is important to pay more than the minimum on your account so you can slowly but surely eliminate your $3,000 debt.

I’m 10,000.00 in credit card debt - how can I reduce the interest?

You can speak to a representative of your credit card company. Discuss with them how you struggle to pay your current debt with the existing interest rate. Propose a new payment term and stick to that.

How can I eliminate half of my credit card debt?

You can follow the snowball method of paying off credit card debt. Start with the smallest debts first. This will enable you to eliminate one credit card at a time until you are left with just one. This will make it easier for you to manage payments and for paying on-time.

Will eliminating my debt increase my credit?

Yes. This is one of the benefits to paying off your debt – the ability to improve your credit utilization ratio. Consequently, this will give a boost to your credit score but it is just one of many factors.

How to eliminate debt and save?

You must create a budget and stick to it. Make sure you organize your costs while paying more than the minimum on your credit card. If you get bonuses or make any extra income, split that between your savings and your credit card debt payment.

What are four strategies to lowering or eliminating your debt?

The four strategies you can use to lower or eliminate your credit card debt are: 1) ask your credit card issuer to lower your interest rate, 2) use the snowball method to eliminate the smaller debts first, 3) take advantage of balance transfer offers, and 4) put in more than the minimum payment on your credit card/s.

How to eliminate debt without money?

Paying off your credit card even with limited access to money is possible. First step is to stop creating more debt. Use extra amount of money in paying towards your debt. You can also look for other sources of income so you can use it to pay off your debt.

How to reduce debt to income ratio?

Use any extra money you have to pay towards your debt. This will slowly but surely chip away at your total amount of debt until you can significantly lower it to the point that you improve your debt to income ratio.

How to reduce debt on low income?

Even with a low income, it is possible to reduce your debt, if not fully pay it. The most important step is to prioritize your debt payment. Eliminate any expenses that are unnecessary and use that saving towards adding to your monthly payments towards your debt. No matter how insignificant, it will improve your debt situation over time.

How to reduce your debt overnight?

There is no such thing as reducing your debt overnight (unless you make a lump sum payment). You need to do it on a consistent basis wherein you must pay more than the minimum and stop using your credit card.

What is the best way to reduce debt?

The best way to reduce your debt will depend on the amount you owe. If you have debts on many credit cards, you can use the snowball method. But being diligent with your payments and paying more than the minimum can significantly improve your debt problem.

Will reducing debt increase credit score?

Yes. This is just one of many factors that can impact your credit score. If you lower your debt, you can boost your credit score.

Will multiple monthly payments reduce debt faster?

Yes. In fact, if you want to eliminate debt faster, you need to pay more than the minimum requirement on your debt.

Is a balance transfer a good idea to reduce debt?

Yes. This is true if you can find balance transfer cards with zero fees for a limited period. You can use the opportunity to pay off your credit card debt without paying for interest.

How to reduce expenses while paying off debt?

Reducing your monthly expenses is one of the best ways to manage debt payments and make them easier. You must create a budget so you know exactly what the most important expenses are. Stick to that budget so you are not spending more than you need to.

How to reduce debt within six months?

There is no one proven approach to reducing debt in as little as six months. But it is possible if you want to wipe out your debt. Start by not using your card and adding to your debt. You can also increase your monthly payments or focus on paying off one credit card at a time.

How to reduce debt with balance transfers?

You can transfer your existing credit card debt to another card with lower interest rate. Most of these cards have a promo period wherein you won’t have to pay for interest within that period. Make sure you pay off your credit card so that you can maximize the savings and debt reduction you can get.

How to manage your bills and reduce debt?

Paying for your bills while reducing debt is never easy. But it is possible if you stick to your budget and avoid making unnecessary purchases. Focus on paying off one debt at a time and always refer to your monthly budget to organize your spending.

How to deal with credit card debt?

You can use these strategies to eliminate your credit card debt: 1) target paying off one credit card at a time, 2) transfer your balance to zero-interest cards, and 3) use the snowball method.

Is consolidating credit card debt a good idea?

If you are drowning in debt and don’t want to file for bankruptcy, debt consolidation is a good option. It will enable you to roll your credit card debts into one, which in turn makes it easier to manage payments for the debt. Just make sure that you pay your newly consolidated loan on time to avoid penalties or hurting your credit score even more.

What if I stop paying my credit cards?

When you stop making payments on your credit card, they will contact you about your debt. If you miss three consecutive payments, your account will be forwarded to a debt collection agency, which might use more aggressive methods of collecting your debt.

How to fix credit card debt?

If you have extra fund, you should always pay more than what your minimum payment requires on your credit cards. You can also target higher interest cards to reduce the amount of debt you owe.

How to recover from credit card debt?

Even if you suffer from significant credit card debt, you can still recover financially. Once you pay down as much as you can, it will make it easier to eliminate your credit card debt. It is also a good idea to re-evaluate your current expenses to see if you can make any savings through those.

When paying off credit cards what is the best strategy?

When paying off your debt, look at them in chunks instead of one balance. If you use this approach, paying off your credit card debt will seem more realistic rather than being intimidated by how big the amount you owe is.

How much will paying off credit cards improve score?

It will depend on the amount you owe and the method of paying your credit card debt that you use. Once your credit to debt ratio improves, so will your credit score. The ideal rate for credit utilization should be 30 percent.

Does paying off credit card immediately improve credit score?

No. Paying off your credit card will improve your credit score but it will not happen instantly. Payment history and credit utilization rate are the two most important factors to improve your credit score.

Should I pay off higher balance credit cards first?

There are two strategies you can choose that would benefit your effort to eliminate credit card debt: 1) you can pay off the lowest balance first or 2) the card with the higher interest rate.

What is the best way to pay off credit cards fast?

The simplest and most straightforward way to pay off your credit card is to increase budget towards debt repayment. It also makes sense to make extra payments whenever you can, such as when you receive a bonus at work, etc.

Is it better to pay credit cards off or down?

If you can, you should definitely pay off your credit card debt (provided that you have an emergency fund). Otherwise, paying down as much as you can will greatly benefit your effort to eliminate your debt.

What happens to credit card debt when you die?

When someone dies, your estate will be pulled to pay for your credit card debt. If the debt is worth more than your assets, then creditors are out of luck.

Should I pay off all my credit cards at once?

Paying off your credit cards at once can help improve your credit score – as long as you keep your accounts open. It is as beneficial to your credit score if build a pattern of responsible repayment.

How should you pay off multiple credit cards?

When you need to pay multiple credit cards, you need to keep up your credit card payments. The goal is to lower your debt as much as you can. If you get extra money, prioritize debt payment. Once you pay off one card, move on to the next using the debt snowball method.

Is it smart to pay off one credit card with another?

You can take advantage of a balance transfer offer to exploit zero-interest on your credit card. However, make sure you have paid off your credit card balance transfer within the promo period of the zero interest to maximize the offer.

Can you keep transferring credit card balances?

Technically, there is no limited to the amount of times you can transfer credit card balances. It is important to note that whenever you do balance transfer, it will show up on your credit report – and that this isn’t your first time to apply for a balance transfer card.

Can I pay my credit card with someone else's bank account?

Yes. You can use another person’s bank account to pay for your credit card, provided that you have specified to which credit card the payment is made to.

How do I get out of big credit card debt?

The best way to overcome a big credit card debt is to focus on working on your debt in chunks. Try to pay as much as you can per month. From there, you can eliminate one debt at a time until all of your debt is paid off. Read more: How to get out of debt.

What if I pay less than minimum on credit cards?

Paying less than the minimum on your credit card will bring you no good. There will be penalties added to your account, which can only worsen your debt situation.

Is it bad to have a zero balance on a credit card?

No. In fact, the goal with credit card payment is to lower your credit utilization. As long as you keep your account open, maintaining a zero balance is good for your credit score.

Is it a good idea to settle credit card debt?

It is a good idea if you can get your credit card company to agree on your offer. Most credit card companies will agree on a settlement if you pay a lump sum, so make sure that you have enough money to make the payment within the agreed period of time.

Is paying off credit cards a good idea?

Yes. The goal with credit card payment is to maximize the payments you can make towards your credit card/s. If you can pay it off, that’s even better.

How much of a balance should you leave on your credit card?

An unused credit on your account can improve your credit score. If you must use your card, it is ideal that you leave 30% on your balance. Otherwise, a zero balance is the goal.

Dealing with Credit Card Companies

What is the best way to deal with credit card companies when it comes to paying off your debt? In this section, you will find the questions that people in your situation often asks, and their corresponding answers for added information.

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How to negotiate with credit card companies to reduce debt?

You can reach out to your credit card company about your debt to see if they would be open to negotiate. When you negotiate, make sure you have a specific plan on how you want to tackle your debt. If you want to reduce the amount of debt you would have to pay, make sure you can come up with a specific working amount. Some companies might waive off the interest rate if you can pay your credit card debt in full.

How to get credit card companies to reduce your debt?

Negotiating with a credit card company is possible and it shows your commitment to pay the amount you owe. Assess your credit card debt first. Call your credit card company about your proposal and make sure to get everything in writing.

How to talk to credit card companies to reduce debt?

You can propose a workout arrangement with the credit card company. Be as specific as possible in your proposal so they can determine if it is the best recourse for them. You can reduce your debt if you can offer lump sum settlement (even for the principal amount) or come up with a forbearance program.

Who talk to at credit card company to reduce debt?

If you need help with your credit card debt negotiation, it is important to talk to the supervisor. You might have to go through one level at a time until you can reach the person of authority to do the negotiating with you.

What to say to credit card companies to reduce debt?

If you are having difficulty making payments, consider taking advantage of the hardship program offered by the credit card company. If you can provide a valid reason for your financial struggles, they would be willing to negotiate with you in terms of extending your payment term or lowering your interest rate.

How to reduce navy federal credit card debt?

You must commit to consistently paying your debt each month while putting in more than the minimum. If you can, direct a larger amount towards your debt so that you can significantly reduce it over time.

How do credit associates help you eliminate credit card debt?

They can help negotiate with credit card companies about reaching a new term or interest rate on your debt. But you must take note that it might appear on your credit report that you have gotten help for your credit or debt.

Will a credit card company settle for less?

Yes. Some credit card companies will be open for negotiation because if you choose to file for bankruptcy, your debt will be wiped out and they won’t get any payment for it.

What can credit card companies do to collect debt?

The credit card company will try to contact you directly at first. If credit card debt holders do not respond, they can pass on your account to a debt collection agency. If none of this work, they can sue you to bring you to court. A court judgment will force you to pay your credit card debt.

Can you negotiate a lower payoff amount on a credit card?

Yes. If you are having trouble making payments on time, many credit card companies would be willing to negotiate the terms of your credit card debt to ensure that you can pay it consistently.

Can credit card companies garnish wages?

If the credit card company is able to get a court order against you, this gives them the opportunity to garnish your wages.

What happens if a credit card company sues you?

When you are sued by a credit card company, there are a few options available. You can enter into a negotiation with them in an effort to avoid a lawsuit. Make sure you respond to a lawsuit; otherwise, you always lose.

Will credit card companies lower my monthly payment?

Most credit card companies are open for negotiation, especially if you want to lower your interest rate or your monthly payments. You can call the credit card company directly about the options available to you.

Bankruptcy and Other Credit Card Debt Specifics

If you are looking for specific methods that you can use to get rid of credit card debt, this section has the information you need to know.

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How to reduce credit card debt without hurting your credit?

Think twice before opting for a debt management company or debt consolidation. Try to pay as much you are able to over a short period of time. This will help to lower your debt without causing a negative impact on your credit score.

How to eliminate credit card debt without bankruptcy?

You do not need to file for bankruptcy in order to get rid of credit card debt. You can do this by negotiating with your credit card company. For the company, they would not want you to choose bankruptcy because it means they won’t be receiving payments. Start with a debt inventory and determine your ability to pay.

How can you eliminate credit card debt via bankruptcy?

If you choose Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, most unsecured debts will be wiped out in the process. In exchange for that, you must surrender non-exempt property in order for the credit card company can sell and gain profit from them. Credit card is a type of non-secured debt.

How to improve credit score fast and reduce credit card debt?

If you pay off your credit card debt, it will significantly improve your credit score as you lower your credit utilization. It is important to keep balances low so you won’t drag your credit score down. Any chance you get to make payments, make sure to take advantage of it.

How to eliminate credit card debt before court?

You need to respond to the credit card company’s effort to get you to pay your debt. You can even try to reach a settlement agreement with them. Whether you choose to pay lump sum or come up with a new payment plan, the credit card company would prefer that over lack of response.

What can I do to eliminate credit card debt after a divorce?

The most important step is that you should not leave a marriage with a joint debt. Pay off the cards that you have together or divide it so that you can focus on your individual debts. This will make it easier for you to manage payments on your own; otherwise, a joint debt can significantly lower your credit score (if the other person is unwilling to pay).

How do you select a company to help reduce credit card debt?

Always check for reviews online. Do not fall for scams that promise to wipe out your debt overnight. When people are desperate, it is easy to fall for these traps.

Can I reduce credit card debt when laid off?

Yes. There are some credit card companies that would be willing to make considerations for consumers with personal and financial struggles, such as those who had been laid off from work.

Which bankruptcy eliminates all debt?

Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will discharge most but not all debts. When you file for this bankruptcy, it can discharge the unsecured debts.

Will all of your debts be eliminated through bankruptcy?

No. Depending on the specific type of bankruptcy you choose, you might be able to eliminate some but not all of them. Child support and alimony obligations are an example of those that cannot be wiped out by bankruptcy.

Should bankruptcy be considered when eliminating debt?

Bankruptcy should be considered when debt collectors are bugging you to no end. You should also opt for this method of eliminating debt if you are at risk of losing your home or you are using loans to pay for your debts.

How does debt reduction services work?

Debt reduction works by paying off to a company to help clean up your debt. They will be working directly with creditors either in the form of debt consolidation or debt settlement.

Does snowball debt reduction work?

The debt snowball method is the most common method used for eliminating debt. This works by paying off your debt from the smallest to largest. The goal is to build momentum as you knock out one debt to another. Once the smallest debt is paid in full, you can use that extra money you saved towards paying your other debts.

What is snowball debt reduction method?

The snowball method is a debt reduction strategy wherein you gradually eliminate your credit card debts by paying off the one with the smallest balance first. You will be working in an incremental method until you gain momentum and all of your debts had been paid in full.

How to calculate snowball debt reduction?

Create a list of all the debts you owe – from one credit card to another. By listing them down, you can see which credit cards are the smallest to largest. You must then focus on the credit card with the smallest debt because it will be easier to eliminate from your list. Once you have done that, move on to the next smallest debt and so on, until you are down to the largest debt. Focus on paying as much as you can on the smaller debt while making the minimum on the larger debts.

Are debt reduction companies legitimate?

It depends on which company you are working with. Make sure you check with the Federal Trade Commission or do an independent research on the company prior to working with them.

How to get out of credit card debt with bad credit?

If you have bad credit, it should give you more motivation to eliminate your debt. Clean up your credit report and make sure there are no wrong information reported by credit bureaus or creditors under your account. Commit to paying your debts on time and keeping your card balances low.

Can you write off credit card debt?

Credit card debt is a type of unsecured debt. Hence, it can be wiped out when you file for bankruptcy.

Can you go to jail for not paying your credit cards?

There are some states wherein creditors use the jail method to coerce borrowers to pay off their credit card debts. But debt is a civil offense, which means you won’t be sent to jail for failure to pay your debt.

What happens to unpaid credit card debt after 7 years?

Your unpaid credit card debt will not simply go away after 7 years. It might disappear off your credit report but the debt still exists. During this time period, your creditor is unable to sue you for your debt – this refers to the statute of limitations.

How much can you settle credit card debt for?

When negotiating a settlement with a credit card company, always start low – maybe 30%. You can slowly work your way up depending on what both parties can agree on.

How can I get rid of credit card debt without paying?

You can file for bankruptcy to wipe out your unsecured debts, which includes credit card debt. However, there are downsides to this because it can significantly hurt your credit score. It will also remain in your credit report for 7 years.

How do I get out of credit card debt without paying?

The only way you can eliminate credit card debt without paying is by filing for bankruptcy. This, however, can have some serious consequences on your credit score as it will appear on your credit report for 7 years.

Are balance transfers bad for credit score?

It depends on whether you are able to maximize the savings offered by a balance transfer card. If you use it to pay off your credit card debt, it can help improve your credit score in the long run. If not, you are only increasing your credit utilization.

Is transferring credit card balances worth it?

It will depend on the balance transfer fee and the interest you could potentially save by transferring your balance to another card. Make sure you choose wisely and understand the terms and conditions before you transfer your balance.

How do I transfer my balance to another credit card?

If you think that your current credit card debt balance is too high, you can transfer that to another card with lower interest rate or has an introductory zero interest balance transfer. Always read the fine print so you can get the savings you want. And make sure that you pay off your credit card within the introductory period so you can save from the interest payment.

What happens if you don't pay off balance transfer?

If you fail to pay off your balance transfer, you lose the opportunity to exploit the zero interest offer. You lose that privilege if you make a late payment or miss a payment altogether.

How long can you legally be chased for a debt?

If your credit card issuer has not made contact with you within six years from the time the initial effort to collect debt was made, then they are no longer able to take any legal actions to pursue the debt you owe.

How do I not pay a judgment?

When you get a judgment from the court to pay off your credit card debt, the only option you have is to pay your debt. You can apply for an installment order, if you are unable to pay in lump sum.  You can also opt for voluntary bankruptcy.

Can they take your house for credit card debt?

Credit card debt is an unsecured debt. This means that your credit card company is unable to take your home when you are unable to pay your credit card debt.

Elizabeth Johnson


Elizabeth is an expert on Debt Consolidation as she provides helpful advice to people who are dealing with debt problems. She graduated college with a BS in Finance. After college, she took a job working at a non-profit debt counseling program. It was at this position where Elizabeth honed her expertise for helping people understand how different financial products work and finding ways to help people pay off their debts.

 

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