Credit Card Debt Help
If you use a credit card, here are several tips for how to keep your outstanding credit card debt low. If you have historically overspent on your card and need assistance, then you can also find below how to get help with paying off your credit card debts over a period of time.
Use credit cards wisely
If you already have unpaid debt on several higher interest rate credit cards then a very effective way how to regain control is to find a credit card that has a zero-percent-interest transfer offer and that also has no balance transfer fees. Once you transfer the balance from your higher interest rate credit cards to the zero interest rate card, don’t use the new zero percent interest rate card again. The reason that you want to cease the use of it is because under current practices the credit card issuers will apply your monthly payments to the zero-percent balance and not your new purchases, which will be at the higher interest rate. If you continue to use the card then this will not occur. And while you do carry a balance, it helps to keep the balance on any credit card below 30 percent of your total limit or you might hurt your credit score.
Be sure to open your mail
While a letter might look like advertising, a letter from your credit card company might be a notice of an increase in your rates, new fees starting, or a reduction in your credit limit. So as simple as this step sounds, you need to be sure to be diligent, continue to review the terms of your card, and stay up on any notices and mailings from your bank or lender. Issuers usually provide an opt-out clause in this letter, which allows you to stop using the credit card and pay off the existing balance under the old payment terms. So if the lender is going to say increase your rate or implement new fees you want to explore opting out or closing the account.
Sometimes you will get information or an offering from debt settlement companies or similar organizations. Review these as well, and focus on the fine print! Or five find suggestions from Consumer Credit Counseling Services. Continue.
Contact your lender
If you are not satisfied with account changes, new fees, or if you have simply made an error in paying your credit card bill, call the company, ask for help, and negotiate if need be. Usually the best way to get the most attention is you may need to go above customer service and talk to a customer-retention person or a manager for help and assistance. You just need to ask for them. If the customer service representative tries to discourage this, you can gently “push back” on them. Also, you may want to strongly consider sending them a hardship letter. Read more.
Be aware of “tricks and traps”
These include the practice of increasing credit card rates for existing balances, counting payments as late payments if they arrive on a weekend or holiday, applying your monthly payments to the lowest interest rate debt and charges first (such as balance transfers). You need to read the fine print as mentioned above, call the company and ask for how to remove the fees, lower the increased rates, and ask for help. Do not accept these tricks that sadly almost all credit card issuers try.
Take advantage of federal government help with paying credit card debt
The recent government bailout of banks, financial institutions, and other lenders has added additional pressure on credit card issuers to settle outstanding debt with consumers. They do not want to have bad public relations when many of the banks themselves received support from the government in the recent past. You may be able to take advantage of this to help your personal situation. More.
Select the best credit card
Be sure to select the best credit card for the type of borrower you are. Review the rewards cards and see how they work, select the best interest rate, and never be afraid to call the credit card company and ask for help in trying to understand their terms.
Taking these steps will help ensure you keep your credit card debt manageable and also help you pay it off as efficiently as possible over time. Also find the top three tips to becoming debt free from a leading publication.