Credit card debt is a gigantic problem for many Americans for various reasons; not the least: it’s tough to get rid of. If you find yourself in this dire position and are itching to get out from under credit card debt as quickly as possible, there are ways to make that happen.
Credit cards typically have high-interest rates and fees, so minimizing the amount you have to pay each month is smart. And if you go over your available credit each month, it’s time to consider consolidating.
“If you’ve already begun to pay down your debts, but you still have more to go, think about a personal loan, which generally has a lower interest rate than your credit card,” said Rick Martin of MSN Money.
But, before you pull the trigger on consolidating all your credit card debt into one loan with a lower interest rate, consider the following:
You’ll be responsible for paying off those high-interest credit cards, which could mean higher payments.
You may pay even more interest if you transfer balances from other cards. That’s because the amount of time it takes to pay off debt will be longer once most or all of it is moved onto one credit card.
If you consolidate debt, you’ll probably have to pay a little extra each month to pay off the new card.
Saving money on loan payments might not be as easy as you think. “You may not be able to save much more than the amount you’ll be paying on the new loan,” said Martin. “Think about that before getting rid of all of your cards.”
Without any savings, it’s unlikely that your loan payments will easily fit within your budget for buying groceries and other necessities, making it harder for you to pay off your debt.