I've been on a mission lately to pay down my credit card balance.
Had a few high APR cards due to a few over the limit deals (don't get me started), and was not cool with the 29% rate they bumped me up to (from 16%, no late payments, just over the limit), so I started a plan of action.
First I called the credit card companies, and requested a lower rate.
They basically laughed at me and said forget about it.
Even though I payed all of my bills on time, they acted like I was a deadbeat just because that months payment put me over the limit.
I decided to take action!
I created a credit card spreadsheet to figure out my credit card paydown progress.
I think it helps to stay in focus and keep your eye on the ball when you can see the hard numbers (sometimes it hurts, but it's keeping it real!)
It has beginning balance, apr, percentage payed off, percentage maxed out, and a what if (goal scenario).
Feel free to use it for your personal goal setting, or if you are a computer nerd and have any ideas, let me know.
didn't know how to attach this to the post so here's the link:
I haven't had time ro look at the spreadsheet yet, but I also made a spreadsheet. I'll tell you the best way to attack your debt, after you set up the spreadsheet.
This method is meant to pay off the debts fastest, a move to increase wealth as well. It will not necessarily maximize your scores in the short term.
After entering all of your debts, sort by APR. The highest APR is the "target" to be paid off first.
Pay the minimums on all of the cards below the target. Pay as much as you can on the target card. Since it's the highest APR, it accrues the most interest, so you want to pay it off fastest. Once that card is paid off, add the amount you've been paying on it to the minimum on the next highest card (which is now your "target," since the other one is paid). Once it's paid off, add the total you were paying on it (the amount you paid on the first one plus the minimum from that) and add to the minimum on the next. So as you work your way down the list, you're paying things off faster as you keep adding what you paid on previous cards to what you had been paying on that.
The spreadsheet will show your progress at the total level. Worry about the total, not individual card amounts.
Make sure to update the information every month, since interest rates can change. That means the "target" can change from month to month. But whatever card is the highest APR this month will get ALL the extra money, the others only get minimum payments.