Get Out of Credit Card Debt Now!

Get Out of Credit Card Debt Now! | CashCourse: Your Real-Life Money Guide

At first, it may have been easy to use your credit card sparingly. Maybe over the first few budget cycles, you charged just a few dollars and paid the balance quickly. You were in control.

Self-control, however, can be a fleeting thing. Slowly, your balance may creep up as you buy more than you can afford in a month, and you run the risk of accruing major credit card debt.

Credit Card Debt Examples

The going credit card interest rate for students is usually more than 14 percent, but it can run as high as 18 percent. With an 18 percent interest rate, that means a $3,000 credit card balance will set you back about $60 per month for almost eight years—assuming you don't make any new purchases. On top of that, you will end up spending about $5,600 to pay off that $3,000 balance—provided that you stop spending. That's practically paying back $2 for every $1 you spent in college, or double the original amount you spent.

What You Can Do

Here are four action steps you can take to help extract yourself from credit card debt:

  1. Create a debt recovery worksheet for each card to kick-start your plans for recovery.
  2. Visit a professional financial counselor.
  3. Look for part-time job opportunities—and use the money to pay more on your credit card bills.
  4. Free up more money for credit card payments by revisiting your  monthly budget and setting spending reduction goals for one or two cost categories. Use the online financial calculator to figure out " How Long Will It Take To Pay Off My Credit Card? " This calculator allow you to put in a proposed additional monthly payment to show you how much sooner you would be able to pay the balance.

Be resourceful, but be sensible, too. Don't fall for pawnshop loan advertisements or payday loans. These merchants usually charge exorbitant fees and interest rates. Beware of companies that promise a quick fix to repair your credit history. Many of these offers are scams, and anything legitimate that they offer to you, you can do yourself for free.

For more information and advice on how to get out of debt, visit the National Foundation for Credit Counseling website.

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