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How to manage credit card debt

What could we do as a society if someone spread $1 trillion among the citizens of the United States? People might pay off their homes, put their kids through college or invest for the future. After all, even a portion of that amount is life-changing money.

Why $1 trillion? That’s the collective amount Americans owe in credit card debt.

Getting into credit card debt is much easier than getting out of it. It’s easy to run low on cash and fall back on credit cards to carry you through lean times. However, credit card interest rates are often high and make it difficult for cardholders to pay off their cards. If this scenario is relatable, you’re not alone.

Face the problem head-on

It's important remember that your credit card debt didn’t just appear overnight and it’s likely not going to disappear overnight unless you stumble upon a small fortune. The gradual nature of debt elimination is why experts believe that credit card debtors must have a plan to chip away at their debt.

  • Create a budget and schedule. Take the time to sit down and calculate how much money you have leftover after paying your bills to put towards your credit card debt. Once you have that information, set realistic goals that keep you focused on your target.
  • Read the terms and conditions. It’s easy to make mistakes in anything when you don’t understand something. Make sure that you understand all interest rates, fees and due dates associated with your credit cards. Your card may also have features that can help you better manage your debt.
  • Meet with a credit counselor. There are people whose entire job is helping people improve their credit and manage their debt. They can better help you understand your situation and give you personalized strategies for reducing your credit card debt.

Bankruptcy can be a good last resort

Many credit card holders also consider bankruptcy to seek relief from overwhelming debt and rediscover peace of mind. Eligible people may find that bankruptcy reduces or eliminates their credit card debt. Bankruptcy can also stop harassing debt collection calls and stop foreclosure.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like anyone is going to divide $1 trillion across the population any time soon. That means that you need to have a plan for managing your credit card debt if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your bills.

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