Are you finding it harder and harder to keep up with your credit card debt? If so, and youíre looking for ways to free yourself of debt once and for all, youíve come to the right place.
The Internet is full of informative websites that will provide you with tips to help you get rid of your credit card debt.
As consumers we incur credit card debt for many different reasons sometimes itís the result of accidents, illness or job loss. Others times weíre so caught up with keeping up with the Joneses and living in a buy-it-now society that before we know it our once manageable credit card debt has gotten away from us.
An underlying problem is many of us donít have a clue how to live beneath our means. Living beyond our means has become a habit and the only way weíve found to do this is to continue using our credit cards. And unfortunately our debt keeps growing.
First off, when youíre looking to get rid off your credit card debt you need to create a budget and then stick to it. Begin by making a list of all your income sources. Then start with your fixed expenses (mortgage payments, insurance premiums, auto loans).
Next, write down variable monthly expenses (groceries, utilities, gifts, entertainment, clothing). Donít forget to factor in some allowance for unexpected expenses that come up like when your washer or dryer quits or your roof leaks. Itís wise to put a little money aside each month for just this purpose.
Credit card debt is also an unsecured debt. Since no collateral has been put up most lenders will report any default to a credit reporting agency or will contact you via mail or telephone frequently in an attempt to get their money.
You can effectively get rid of your credit card debt and any telephone calls from persistent creditors by budgeting, credit counseling, debt consolidation or in some cases bankruptcy.
It basically comes down to self discipline, how heavy your debt load is and if you can see a substantial change in your income.
With some serious self discipline you can get rid of your credit card debt once and for all. The second step (after budgeting) in taking care of your credit card debt is to stop charging. The last thing you want is more debt to compound the problem.
Start by prioritizing your credit card bills. Then make a plan to pay off as much as you can afford on the card with the lowest balance. Once that debt is paid in full you can move onto your next credit card debt. Paying off one card at a time will help you dissolve your debt faster as will putting every extra cent you have towards repayment. Over time an extra five or ten dollars here and there can really make a difference.
Further, you may wish to look into acquiring a home equity line of credit or a second mortgage. Do your homework and be sure that this is a direction you wish to take as both are secured loans that require collateral.
Similarly debt consolidation has its disadvantages. Youíll end up with a longer repayment term and sometimes when you factor in the related fees you can end up paying more than your original debt amount.
As a last resort, you can turn to bankruptcy to get rid of your credit card debt. This is advisable only in extreme cases. Itís important to note that a bankruptcy will show up on your credit report for 10 years. As a result, youíll have difficulty obtaining credit, getting life insurance or purchasing a home during this time.
When looking to free yourself from credit card debt itís best to explore all your options before deciding on a direction to take.
Sherrie Le Masurier is a freelance writer/editor who believes in being a wise consumer and living within her means. Her blog http://www.doityourselfdebtreduction.blogspot.com features information on how to get out of debt, debt reduction strategies, credit card debt reduction, debt consolidation, debt management tips and general debt reduction help.