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  Category: Articles » Finance » Debt Consolidation » Article

How to Lose Credit Card Debt - Legally

By Paula Edwinson

There are millions of people who are 'up to their eyes' in debt. For the majority of these people it's difficult to see a way out of the debt trap. However, there are some practical things that can be done to alleviate the situation. Here are some tried and tested methods:

Using credit cards to rack up a huge debt is doubtless the easiest thing anybody can do. It may be hard to comprehend that the majority of us feel easier handling credit cards than handling money.

Huge credit card debt has the effect of heavy and never-ending losses until the debt is got rid of, because interest charges on credit card debt are so much much higher than regular borrowing. One ends up losing more money paying interest than has been spent, not to mention the inevitable effect on credit rating when one neglects to meet up with the payments. These situations can actually be used to benefit you if you use a little determination and follow these suggestions:

Bearing in mind interest charges, transfer your balances to the lowest rate card where you could get a zero percent or much lower rate for a certain amount of time. During this period you can deal with all your other high interest rate debts. You should keep track of other deals with helpful balance transfers and get ready to start the process again when the original offer is nearing its end. In the event that one does not present itself, pay off as much as you can to reduce the debt. Because the finance industry is so competitive, you will always find zero percent offers available out there in the marketplace. Never forget though, the debt has not gone away.

Another extremely useful tool that you should find effective in reducing your burden of credit is a debt consolidation loan. These loans carry much lower rates of interest when viewed against credit cards. It's possible to get a debt consolidation loan at a lower rate and do away with all the debt. Just be certain that your repayments are always punctual so that your credit rating does not get even worse than it already is.

Another way of reducing credit card debt would be to employ some self discipline. Clearly this is easier to say than to achieve, but the only workable way out of your predicament is to destroy your credit cards, so that there is no temptation to spend unless you have the extra money to spare.

You can save yourself much trouble (and extra cost) when it comes to late payments so try to set up some kind of automatic payment, otherwise you may be tempted to put your credit card bill on a pile and get around to it when you have 'more time'. The big drawback with this method, before you know it a few weeks will have gone by and you've been stuck with a late payment. If you leave it until the deadline to send payment, you might find that it won't get there by the deadline. Never forget though it's not a deadline for sending the money, it's a deadline for the credit card company to receive it.

Paying late is a big mistake for a few reasons. You will definitely be charged a late payment fee and your late payment will go on your credit report for everyone to see. You may also find that you lose the beneficial rate you had and your debt will be automatically put onto the worst rate that the company offers.

If using the mail you should ensure you post your payment at least a week before the due date. If you've left it to the last minute, ring them up and try to make payment over the telephone.

Ever heard of the old saying: closing the stable door after the horse has bolted!? You may think that this article is that idiom personified. However, when it comes to credit card debt, I do believe that the saying should be modified to: closing the stable door before any more horses bolt!
About the Author
Paula Edwinson is a finance counsellor. She runs an information website on How to Eliminate Credit Card Debt

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