Lowering Your Interest Rate Can Help Reduce Credit Card Debt
By Ines Mato
Getting bogged down with credit card debt can be a stressful experience. However, there are ways that you can improve your situation, one being reducing your credit card’s interest rate. While not guaranteed to work, you can achieve this by calling the customer service number on the back of your card and asking for a rate reduction. In some instances, this could be successful, but you should be prepared to negotiate.
One argument you may be able to use is that you have been a loyal customer for years and have always paid your bill on time. If this doesn’t work, you could tell your provider that you have received another offer that comes with a lower interest rate, and unless you are able to get a reduction you’ll have to make the switch. If you were unsuccessful in attempting to lower your interest rate, there are some other ways that you could potentially slash your credit card debt.
Track your expenses: One of the best ways to find money to put toward your debt is to track your costs. For example, take stock of your expenses, including credit card debt, mortgage payments, insurance, cell phones and utilities. Knowing where your money is going can help you eliminate certain expenses. These extra funds can be used to help pay down your credit card debt.
Create a budget: Tracking your expenses will help you complete this step, but if you haven’t already, create a budget. Make sure that you are allocating your income to the necessary expenses. This can help keep you on track financially, as having a specific amount of money available for food each week could prevent you from splurging on the pizza for lunch. Instead, bring a bag lunch, as you could save yourself some money that could be used to pay down your debt.
Stop using your cards altogether: A habit that could make it difficult to pay off your credit cards is continuing to use them. If you are paying $100 each month toward your debt, but you are charging another $150, you are putting yourself in a bigger hole. When you are trying to pay off your debt, be sure to stash your credit cards away so you aren’t tempted to swipe them at checkout.