4 Steps to Beat Credit Card Debt for Good
Whether you owe $25 or $25,000, these steps will help keep your debt in check.
Assess the purchases that put you in the hole. Are they "needs," like utilities or medical bills, or "wants"? Simply reviewing your statement honestly can make you realize how easily the "wants" creep up—and help you curb your spending going forward.
Pay more than the minimum, even if it's just an extra $20 a month. Otherwise you're playing right into the card company's hands—the less you pay per month, the longer you're indebted to them.
Read the fine print. In the past, it was a no-brainer to transfer a balance to a new card with a promotional low (or zero) introductory rate, usually for a fee of up to 75 bucks. But now, as you'll learn by inspecting the promo terms, the fee is often 3 percent of the amount being transferred.
Get help. The Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies
can connect you with a reputable counselor who will guide you through your payment options and even, when appropriate, negotiate a repayment plan with your creditors.
Next: Cut $100 from your monthly budget (plus more expert secrets)
Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.