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Experts offer tips for reducing credit card debt

Many residents of Ohio are part of millions of others around the country who are plagued by seemingly unmanageable credit card debt. While making the minimum payment will keep bill collectors from calling constantly, there are some ways in which a consumer can pay off his or her credit card debt more effectively.

Many credit cards are notorious for carrying high interest rates, which means the longer it takes a debtor to pay the full balance, the more money he or she will pay in total. This is especially true when making just the minimum payment each month. If multiple credit card payments are owed, the consumer should determine which one has the lowest interest rate and make the minimum payment on it while putting more than the minimum into the card with the highest rate to pay it down faster.

Financial experts also advise debtors to begin paying close attention to a monthly budget as well. By budgeting money more judiciously, funds may be freed up to allow more to be put toward credit cards each month. Another suggestion is to recalculate withholding amounts paid in regular paychecks to effectively increase the amount of money received during each pay period rather than waiting for an annual tax return payment. A positive bonus to paying down credit card debt faster is the inevitable increase in credit score a debtor will experience.

Credit card debt can get out of hand very easily if it is not carefully managed. For many consumers with multiple credit cards and limited income, questions of the validity of filing a bankruptcy claim to get out from under credit card debt may arise at some point. Those questions can be answered by a bankruptcy attorney who can also examine other potential forms of debt relief.

Source: USA Today, "Personal Finance: How can I pay off credit cards faster?", RObert Powell, September 02, 2014

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