Oprah's Debt Diet Step 3: Learn to Play the Credit Card Game
The basic idea here is to reduce the amount of debt you're carrying on the credit cards you have as fast as possible. Why is this important?
- The fewer credit cards you use, the better!
- The more credit cards you have the greater the chance you have of being hit with late fees (up to $39 a month), over the limit fees (up to $35 a month) and annual fees on your cards that can range from $25 a month to $150 or more.
- Getting the amount of cards you have paid off is a huge emotional boost. You'll see yourself make progress quickly!
Here's what you do:
- Make a list of the current outstanding balances on each of your credit card accounts.
- Divide each balance by the minimum payment that particular card company wants from you. The result is that account's DOLP™ number. For example, say your outstanding VISA balance is $500 and the minimum payment due is $50. Dividing the total debt ($500) by the minimum payment ($50) gives you a DOLP™ number of 10.
- Once you have figured out the DOLP™ number for each account, rank them in reverse order, putting the account with the lowest number first, the one with the second lowest number second, and so on.
- You now know the most efficient order in which you should pay off your various credit card balances. Take half of your Latte Factor® money and apply it to the card with the lowest DOLP™ number. For each of your other cards, you make only the minimum payment.
- Once a card is paid off, don't close it! Leave the account open so you have credit you are not using, which will help improve your credit score.
- Finally, ask the credit card companies to waive your annual fees on the cards you have, whether you use them or not. You should continue doing this until you've DOLPed your way to being debt-free!
Print David's DOLP™ chart!
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Step 4: How to cut back your spending
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