By Valencia Higuera
Paying off credit card debt might be one of the best moves for your personal finances. It can improve your cash flow, giving you an opportunity to build an emergency fund or save for retirement. In addition, paying off credit cards helps increase your credit score.
But if you have huge credit card balances and live paycheck to paycheck, it can feel as if you’ll never make headway.
American households carrying credit card debt have an average balance of $15,609, according to personal finance website The Simple Dollar. From this data, you might conclude that credit card debt is simply a way of life. But just because some people live with massive debt doesn’t mean you have to be a permanent member of this club.
Paying off large debt is by no means easy, but if you change your mindset and adjust your approach, you can trick yourself into getting out of debt.
HOW TO GET OUT OF CREDIT CARD DEBT WITH DOUBLE PAYMENTS
Minimum payments are a trap to keep people indebted for as long as possible. Interest accrues every month you carry a balance on your credit cards. This increases how much you owe overall, and it makes your credit card company richer.
To pay down large balances faster, you should pay more than the minimum, so set a goal to double your minimum payments every month. This is a simple concept, yet it can be hard to drum up the extra cash. This is where a little trickery comes in handy.
You might say you don’t have enough cash to make higher credit card payments, but I’m willing to bet you spend money impulsively on at least a few items every month. This can be extra junk food tossed into your grocery cart or random $5 purchases at a convenience store. These purchases seem minor, but you’re failing to realize that every impulse buy wastes money that could be used to increase your minimum payments and pay off debt sooner.