If you have credit card debt, you’re paying interest—unless you’re currently paying off debt with a zero-percent introductory offer. Even then, you’ll eventually need to pay interest on that credit card debt if you still have a balance once the introductory period ends. Nobody wants to pay credit card interest, but it’s just a requirement of using credit cards. While there might not be a way to get around those interest charges on the credit card debt you already have, you might be able to pay less. The following are some potential ways you could pay less interest on your credit card debt:
If you qualify for another credit card with a lower interest rate or zero-percent introductory offer, consider applying for one. Depending on the credit line you’re approved for, you may be able to transfer some or all of your other credit card balances with higher interest rates. This allows you to consolidate several different payments into one simple monthly payment, and it can give you the opportunity to pay less in credit card interest, which will help you save money and pay off your credit card debt faster.
Consider a personal loan
Another way to consolidate your credit card debt and pay lower interest is by taking out a personal loan. If you qualify for a personal loan with a more favorable interest rate, you can use that money to pay off your credit card debt. Paying off the personal loan will cost you a lot less if your interest rate is a much better one; just be sure not to max out your credit cards again if you go this route—the last thing you want is credit card payments on top of your loan payments.
Make larger payments
If you only make the minimum required payments each month, it can take a while before your debt is paid off, especially if you’re carrying a large balance. Most of your money will likely go towards interest, and the longer you have an outstanding balance, the more you’ll pay in interest throughout the years. By making larger payments, you get rid of your credit card debt faster, and will pay less in interest.
Start with the credit card that has the highest interest
If you have multiple credit cards and you aren’t doing a balance transfer, consider eliminating the debt from your highest interest rate credit card first. Make the minimum payments on the others, and put the larger payment money towards the credit card you’re paying the most interest on. When that card is paid off, move on to the next. The sooner you can pay off the accounts with the higher interest rates, the less you’ll pay in credit card interest overall.
Stop using your credit card
As you begin to make some progress in the debt eliminating process, it’s important not to undo it all by simply charging again on your credit card. Unless you’re able to pay off your balance in full, putting more charges on your credit card won’t help you pay less in interest, and won’t allow you to pay off your credit card debt any faster.
Improve your credit
If you have poor credit, you might only be eligible for the credit cards with the higher interest rates. In order to qualify for credit cards and/or personal loans with the advertised interest rates, you may need to work on improving your credit first. There are several steps you can take to begin working on improving your credit score. Aside from taking care of debt, one thing you can do is check your credit report carefully for any errors. This means looking through it thoroughly, and not just focusing on the credit score. Instead, focus on the individual items on your credit report, and try to identify any past due accounts or other negative items that could be bringing your score down. Check them carefully to make sure they are correct. Credit report errors are actually pretty common, and there could be a misreported amount of money you owe, or there might be a past due account on your credit report that doesn’t even belong there at all. If you notice a mistake, take action to dispute it and have it removed from your credit report. It may take some time for the changes to reflect, but once any errors are removed, you’ll likely see an increase in your credit score. This is just one of the many ways you can possibly improve your credit, and once your credit score goes up, you could qualify for lower interest rates.
Contact your credit card issuer
If you’re struggling with your credit card payments and the high interest rate isn’t helping, you could try reaching out to your credit card issuer and explaining your situation. If you’re experiencing a financial hardship, for example, you might able to receive a temporary reduction in your interest rate. Or if you’ve been a customer for a very long time and have always been timely with your payments, you might be able to negotiate your interest rate to a lower one. It certainly doesn’t hurt to ask, especially if you’ve been shopping around for a different credit card with a better interest rate.
Do you need to catch up on credit card debt, but don’t have the financial means to do so? If you’re barely making a dent in your debt and would like to pay it off once and for all, Peachtree Financial Solutions may be able to help if you’re an annuitant. You may be able to turn those long-term annuity payments into a lump sum of cash by selling all or a portion of your payment stream to Peachtree. To learn more about selling future annuity payments for a lump sum payment, contact Peachtree Financial Solutions today.
Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.