Over 110 million Americans have credit card debt with past due balances. As if Covid19 has not been stressful enough, the weight of this extra debt with either a loss in income or an uncertainty about future income can be overwhelming. While bankruptcy can help with that by potentially wiping it out, here are some tips if you are not ready to take that step for peace of mind.
- See if you can transfer debt from a high interest credit card to a lower one.
If you have more than one card, and there is room on a lower interest one, see if you transfer the balance.
2. If you are still working or have an income, apply for a 0% interest balance transfer.
Many cards wil l offer an introductory rate for 0% or 1% for the first 12-14 months. That will substantially lower your minimum payments as well as how much needs to be paid off.
3. Pay off at least what you charged last month if it is more than the minimum payment
This will at least keep your card from escalating.
4. Try the $5 a month method or slightly more than the minimum.
Add at least $5 a month to your minimum payments. If you can afford more, add more.
With interest rates as high at 29%, catching up on credit card debt is difficult if there is not a set plan to pay it. Although job loss and medical debt are still the top 2 reasons for bankruptcy, credit card debt is next in line. Look carefully at your statement. See how high your interest rate is. If it is in the 20 + %, try to qualify for a lower interest rate. Look at your statement to see what it says in terms of how long it will take to just pay the minimum. That may motivate you to put more towards the minimum
With the shutdown we are spending less on entertainment. Even if we are getting delivery, we are often saving a bit on restaurant dining. Try to put a little bit more towards those rising credit cards.
If you don’t think you can catch up, then consider contacting us. We can help see if there is there is a way to set you on the right track or if necessary discuss your options.
The sooner you call, the more options you will have.