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3 effective strategies to better manage credit card debt

Credit card debt affects numerous Americans. In fact, a report by Bloomberg states the mean debt for the average American household stands at around $16,000. However, for people with student loans or mortgages, that number can easily skyrocket.

Paying off any amount of debt can seem daunting. Fortunately, there are ways to better manage the pay-off process. Learning repayment strategies may keep people from blindly sending money to credit card companies and taking much too long to reach a zero balance.

1. Focus on one card at a time

Consumers with more than one credit card may have racked up excessive debt on both. Instead of fretting about making larger payments for both each month, a person may place the majority of his or her attention on one at a time.

For example, a person could make a minimum payment on a card with the higher amount of debt while making more substantial payments on the card with less debt. This strategy would allow someone to pay off one debt more quickly, and afterward, focus on paying off the second card. Consumers could also decide to pay off the card with the higher interest rate first to prevent debts from continuing to rise.

2. Make two payments a month

Many people with credit card debt resign themselves to making the minimum payment each month. As a result, it can take decades to pay off the debt in full. However, a person may significantly reduce that timeframe by simply making an extra payment each month. For instance, if a minimum payment is $50, then the goal would be to pay $100.

3. Ask for low interest

Many people do not even consider simply asking for lower interest. However, service representatives are often happy to oblige. Even if they only take off one percentage point, people can still save hundreds of dollars every year. It never hurts to ask, as the worst that can happen is a denial.

If these strategies are not applicable , a person may want to seek debt relief through other avenues, such as consolidation or bankruptcy.

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