If you’re like most people, celebrating the holidays didn’t just make your waistline a little bigger; it made your credit card balances bigger, too.
While we don’t have any suggestions for the waistline, we do have a simple method that can help reduce those bulging credit card balances and pay them off quicker.
First, gather up all your credit card bills and compare the interest rates you’re paying on each card. The one with the highest rate is the one you should pay off first.
Starting with your next payment, only pay the minimum amount due on all your credit cards — except the one with the highest interest rate. For that one, pay as much over the minimum as you can. If your minimum payment on that card is $25 try paying double, or triple that amount each month. The more you pay, the quicker this card will be paid off.
Then once that card is paid off, take all the money you were paying towards that balance and add it to the amount you’re paying on the card with the next highest interest rate. So if you were paying $75 on the first card and $25 on all your other cards, add that $75 to the $25 you’re paying on the next card. Now, instead of just paying the $25 minimum, you would pay $100.
Then once that card is paid off take everything you’re paying on that card and add it to the next card. Continue doing this until you pay all your balances off.
To help pay down your credit card debt faster, try to not put any new purchases on them. Use your debit card or cash instead. Also, try to cut down on the number of cards you use to just two or three. And don’t keep a balance on either card that’s more than 10% of the card’s credit limit. This will help improve your credit rating.