Many of our Escondido readers probably started 2014 by making a resolution. This is a popular tradition in America, and most people experience varying degrees of success and failure in keeping these resolutions throughout the year. For some people, their resolution may have been to pay off their credit card debts in 2014. If that is the goal, a recent article provided some tips.
According to the article, the first steps in working toward reducing or eliminating credit debt is to determine exactly how much is owed across the various credit cards, and then contact the credit card companies and attempt to negotiate a lower interest rate. These initial steps help in two important ways: 1. Knowing what is owed helps an individual know where they need to start, and 2. Getting a lower interest rate will help keep the balances from getting even more out of control.
Other steps focus on how to make payments. The article recommended always paying monthly bills on time, which is important to avoid late fees. Another step is to make sure that the monthly payment is more than the minimum payment due. Lastly, the article notes a common strategy for paying off all kinds of debt: focusing on the debt with the highest interest rate first and foremost.
There is no shortage of tips and strategies for individuals and families dealing with debt on how to rectify the situation. It is important for our Escondido readers to find the steps that they can realistically implement and then stick to them. Some people will be able to do this, and will successfully pay off their debts in 2014. However, if a debt situation is simply beyond all hope of repayment, looking into the benefits of Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the best option.
Source: The Street, "10 Tips for Reducing Credit Card Debt in 2014," Bill Hardekopf, Dec. 30, 2013