In today’s uncertain economy with rising prices and job instability, it is very easy to fall behind with monthly credit card payments. Even in the best of economic times, overspending and overdue bills are common occurrences for many people amidst the stress and demands of fast-paced lifestyles. However, if you do find yourself experiencing difficulty in meeting monthly financial commitments, you may need to revise your budget and spending habits. When it comes to overdue credit card accounts, there are some definite measures to take toward getting back on track with regular, efficient repaying habits, including:
1. Pay More Than the Minimum Monthly Payment Due. – By paying more than the minimum amount due on your monthly credit card bills, you can begin to pay off the interest as well as your charged amounts. Although this may be difficult to achieve on a regular basis, it will definitely pay off in the long run as you see your balance due decrease.
2. Contact Your Charge Card Companies. – Communicate with your credit card companies. Let them know your financial situation and your difficulty in repaying your card balances. In many instances, they will offer assistance by lowering your monthly interest rate on charges or waiving late fees.
3. Structure a Workable Payment Plan. – Rather than making random payments each month, structure a payment plan you can manage according to your current budget. Either attack your highest-interest charge card debts first, or start by paying off your smallest debt balance in full.
4. Explore Debt Transfer Opportunities. – Shop for long-term, low interest or 0% interest rate offers for transferring debt to other cards. If you already have a low-interest charge card, find out if it is advantageous for you to transfer other card balances to your low-interest card. At least you will begin to decrease the grand total of your combined debts.
5. Give Up a Few Luxuries. – Start taking your lunch to work instead of going to your favorite deli, coffee shop or eatery. Limit your partying with friends, and if going for a drink after work on Fridays, try a friendly bar serving inexpensive appetizers or free healthy snacks with drinks. Even better—try a health food bar serving smoothies and yogurt shakes, or alternate hosting get-togethers at one another’s homes or apartments. You can use the money you save to pay down your charge card bills.
6. Keep an Emergency Cash Fund at Home. – Always maintain a cash fund at home for any emergencies that arise. Remember, this is not a mad shopping or recreational fund. Use it strictly for emergencies and nothing else.
7. Track Your Spending Habits. – Keep a running daily record of all your expenditures. Especially if you use your credit or debit cards for most of your purchases, it is very easy to lose track of exactly how much you spend each week and for what purposes. This is an ideal way to identify and stop your overspending.
8. Limit or Stop Your Credit Card Charging. – If necessary, put strict limitations on your credit card charging habits or stop using your charge cards completely until you can pay off your card debts. Although this may seem like a drastic measure, it is one sure way to see a definite decrease in your total credit card deficit.
Although it is very easy to accumulate credit card debt, the importance of paying down credit cards efficiently really cannot be stressed enough. Once you find the best method of reducing your outstanding charge card bills on an ongoing basis, you will start to regain the wonderful feelings of relief and security offered by a debt-free lifestyle once again.