In recession? How to get out of credit card debt

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by bustdebt, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. bustdebt

    bustdebt Active Member

    Times are really more difficult now, and more and more people are finding themselves in a bind. If you're one of them, you might just benefit from knowing about your credit card spending and curb it.

    To lessen and eventually eliminate mounting credit card dues, here are some tips you should remember.

    (1) Know your bills. Take time to tally up all your bills every month. This will give you an idea of the level of spending you have every month. Be sure to include auto-debits and online spending. Organize each item as to what credit cards you are using for what expense, and also determine the balances and the interest rates you pay on each card.

    You now have detailed information on your credit cards, the level of spending you do with regards to each one, and the balance you maintain. This will make sure you don't go overboard.

    This will all come in handy when you decide to transfer credit card balance from one card to another.

    (2) Negotiate for a lower rate. Now, look at those credit cards charging higher interest rates. Be sure to get in touch with each of these companies and talk to their customer service operators about lowering your rates. You'd be surprised at how easy it would be to get a lower rates. Be polite, but also be clear that you can and will take your business elsewhere if they don't grant a lower rate for you. Sometimes, it helps to talk to a supervisor because they have more authority and could give you a better rate.

    (3) Search for a new balance transfer credit card. Do some research on companies that accept credit card balance transfers. Basically look for credit card offers that offer a low introductory rate and a longer introductory period. Credit card balance transfer gives you the opportunity to save on finance charges and the lower interest payments, and concentrate on paying the loan itself without the additional charges. What you do is to transfer credit card balance from one that charges a higher interest to one that charges a lower interest for a certain period of time. The idea is to pay off all the debt, or a major portion of it before the introductory period ends and the real APR is charged on your loan.

    Be sure to read everything on your terms though, because with the credit card balance transfer fees that some bank charge, and the misleading advertised interest rates, it's easy to end up paying more than what you would have expected to pay.

    (4) Pay in cash. You can always avoid using your credit cards. If you don't use it, you certainly cannot abuse it :) Leave your credit cards at home, if you need to take a bigger amount of cash, you a debit card. That way you can limit your spending on the things you can really afford, and not on things that you think you'd have the money for later.
  2. bustdebt

    bustdebt Active Member

    Hi guys, this is just some of the things I've learned from my own experience. If you can add to these ideas, that would be great :)
  3. Hedwig

    Hedwig Well-Known Member

    Be careful with using the debit card. It does not provide the same level of protection that a credit card does.

    The better scenario is to use the credit card, and put the money aside so you can pay the bill when it comes.
  4. GabrielLE

    GabrielLE Member

    this is probably the best advice you've got here. Balance transfer credit card offers are soooo prevalent now that there are a lot of people coming in and sending you marketing materials with very attractive offers. While they can be very helpful, you really need to read the fine print before you jump into these companies.

    I'm in the process of getting a card that would allow me to transfer credit card balance cheaply so I'm in the middle of reading all these offers and advertisements.

    I would like to add some things to your lists of how to get out of credit card debt:

    (1) Get another job. It could be an additional job or a higherpaying one. But of course, a good paying job is hard to come by these days

    (2) Sell something. Have a yard sale. Or put your talents into good use. Write, sing, or sew something then put them up for sale. Not only will you use your talents, you'd be making extra income too.

    (3) And I agree, talk and negotiate to your card provider. It haven't done that yet, so I think it deserves special mention here :)
  5. Hedwig

    Hedwig Well-Known Member

    There's another thread here about balance transfers where I posted some things to watch out for. They can be useful, but don't get into something that backfires on you.
  6. bustdebt

    bustdebt Active Member

    I agree, aside from reading all the relevant fine print, people must know that lenders are offering credit card balance transfers because they earn from it. They won't give people the advantage and option of paying lower interest rates across cards if they don't earn from letting you transfer credit card balance.

    So if you have the means to pay off your credit card debt, please do so without using a balance transfer credit card that will save you from the BT fees. But if you don't then don't forget about this money saving offer.
  7. woofer

    woofer Well-Known Member

    This does not have anything to do with CC debt but does have to do with saving money.

    Anytime I am about to purchase something I go o line and try to get a coupon for the store.

    I ALWAYS check my receipts, as I have found that MOST EVERYTIME I am at market check out ,there is a mistake made,be it higher price or extra item.

    In stores if there is a minor flaw on the item I want to purchase I bring it to the attention of the manager and very nicely ask for a courtesy discount.

    I send off most of my bills via the internet and each time I do I put the money I would have spent on a stamp into a box and I do see the coins adding up.

    Lately I am trying to not spend so much money and have reduced my cable bill by 25 percent, (still costly though at 100 bucks a month) so more room to get rid of other channels.

    I quit NETFLIX (save 20 bucks a month there)and either wait for the movie on HBO or I go to the library and get a movie.

    I am one that is always buying books and or magazines. I haven't cut back on any of the non fiction books BUT I do not buy the latest novels anymore and now go to the library and get them instead.
    (Savings of at least 50 bucks a month)

    I used to buy two newspapers a day and then two on Sunday and three that are weekly.

    Now I read them all but one on line and just get my TWO Sunday paper.
    A savings of +12 dollars a week!

    Summertime means fresh veggies and flowers that I grow,so I feel I save another 30 bucks a week there, as when my flowers are not in bloom, I buy them for my home and this is at a cost of right around $10 every week,and my veggies another 20 bucks a week

    I still need to adjust my spending on dining out, which we do several times a week to the tune of $ 300 a week, (DOWN from what I used to spend)
    We went out for breakfast about 3 times a week (25 bucks each time) so that is 75 bucks a week, now we go out for breakfast once a week , savings 50 bucks a week,just for breakfast alone!

    We do a lunch take out at $30 now only twice a week as now I make lunch and feel I save another 50 bucks at least because of making lunch at home.

    We have two vehicles. One is a diesel which gets about 10MPG and here diesel is just about $5.50 a gallon, so instead of having hubby always take off in the truck I tell him to use the Volvo.
    While he has not gotten into the habit of using my car more, he has used it this morning, and savings will be at least $10 bucks as he goes and does his thing around town and harbor.

    I figure I save anywhere from $150 to $200 a week and I can cut back A LOT more without depriving myself

    Oh what do I do with the extra money I save?

    I give half away. : )


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