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Smart Ways To Defeat Credit Card Debt - Interstate Associates

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Are you weighed down by lingering credit card bills? Get ready to learn smart and efficient strategies for zeroing out even a sky-high debt. You owe it to yourself.

Let's be real... Credit card debt is one of the worst financial burdens that one can have. Fortunately, getting yourself out of credit card debt is possible, but will need some discipline. With 20%+ interest rates being something far from uncommon, steep credit card debt can have a negative influence on you and your family's personal finances if not managed in the appropriate manner.

Any type of debt can bring struggles, still though, credit card debt is particularly menacing because of its very high rates of interest, which may cripple your future ability to build wealth.

Credit Debt - An American Crisis

The average family in America has almost $7,000 in revolving credit card debt. Which may not seem like much to you, but make no mistake about it, having $7,000 debt at a clip of 20% interest costs you over $1,000 in interest annually!

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As you can tell, financial security under such debt is hardly likely. Such uncertainty certainly causes many U.S. citizens to lose sleep at night while wondering how they will dig there way out of a financial quicksand.

In this informative article brought to you by Interstate Associates, you will find practical credit card debt relief tactics that will assist you with sensibly handling your credit card debt.

Before Anything - Prioritize Your Debts

Let us look at some steps you can take now to simplify the process, prioritize those debts, and have them paid off fast.

Let us look at some steps you can take now to simplify the process, prioritize those debts, and have them paid off fast.

- Get Organized.
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First, get yourself organized and break out your most recent debt statements.

For many people in debt, this will include auto loans, student loans, and credit cards. This may also involve personal loans, payday loans, medical bills, and tax statements.

- Create a List of Your Debts.

Next, it's ideal to make a list of your debts and comprise the following classes: name, total amount, due date, applicable interest rate (including future rate changes), and minimum payment. You can use plain old pen and paper or upgrade to a spreadsheet (making sorting easier).

Either way, just be certain that you get all your debts recorded and include all of the appropriate information.

- Prioritize Debts.

Now, you will want to prioritize your debts for which bills to pay off first and last. There are a couple of differing theories on the best way to handle this task. Some people prefer to use the rate of interest on the debt to prioritize their list and pay off the highest interest bills first.

Others prefer to take a whole-picture look at the complete balance of the debt, paying off the smallest debt first (this is sometimes referred to as the Dave Ramsey "snowball" method).

The former method is better from a strictly numbers standpoint. The latter method might be better for inspiration sake and keeping you motivated as you see bills getting paid off more quickly. It's up to you to decide which is ideal for you and rank your debts accordingly.

Payment Strategies & Financial Maneuvering

1. Transferring Your Balance (cautiously). It is tempting to move a balance from a card with a high-interest rate to a card with a considerably reduced one and with a company like Interstate Associates that could be a wise move, you could save hundreds of dollars annually.

But be careful: You should transfer a balance only if you are dedicated to paying the debt off in an introductory low-interest-rate window (which typically lasts 12 to 18 months after the first billing cycle closes) and to making monthly payments on time.

Otherwise, your rate could skyrocket, maybe ending up higher than the one you just got rid of. (Important: You should also avoid making any purchases with the new card, as occasionally the low-interest rate will not apply to new charges.) Moreover, know that you will most likely be charged a balance transfer fee, which is typically about 3 to 4% of the whole amount transferred.

2. Requesting Creditors for Lower Interest Rates. Many times a simple phone call to the card issuer is all it takes to receive a reduced rate - given that you've got good credit (a score of 730 or higher) and you're a long-term client who makes payments on time. You could find a percentage point or two shaved off, which may add up to tens of thousands of dollars saved annually.

PRO TIP: If you have been given a lower rate by a competitor, tell the customer service rep, there is a chance they will match the deal.

This tactic works far more than you know, give it a go and you may be surprised at how much money you save. Here's another effective tactic...

3. Doubling Up On Payments. If you are really getting drowned by high interest, make two minimum payments monthly.

On excellent from Interstate Associates is about doubling payments. Card issuers generally charge interest on a daily basis, so the earlier you make a payment, the quicker your average daily balance is reduced, which translates into fewer dollars in interest that you finally pay. If you are on a tight budget, go ahead and pay the minimum due every month, then attempt to make the exact same payment two weeks later. Keep making a payment of the primary minimum-due amount two times per month until your debt is repaid. (To keep track, set a reminder in your calendar.)

Case in point: Say you charged $2,000 on a card with a 17 percent rate of interest. If you make only the minimum monthly payment (which is about 2% of the balance), it is going to require more than 21 years to pay off the balance. But if you make another payment of the first amount two weeks afterward, you'll be debt-free in under 3 years!

Doing It Yourself Feel Impossible? Get Help - Interstate Associates

If you've tried everything and still end up unable to repay your credit card debts, then you can always turn to advisory and management firms.
Here is a breakdown of the many (non-DIY) choices you have when it comes to getting help with your debt.

  • Debt Management -- Debt relief companies manage your money and handle paying off your debts for you. The benefit here is less hands-on work by you. The disadvantage here is that you would be paying for a service that you can do at no cost on your own. Another danger is high fees being charged by the debt management firm.
  • Credit Counseling -- With counseling, you repay your debts on your own, you simply get financial advice that will help you sort out your financial plan and get your finances in line to stop incurring more debt and start paying it off.
  • Debt Settlement -- Debt settlement companies call the creditors on your behalf and negotiate a settlement of your credit card debt for less than what you owe. But beware, the dangers involved here are many. In order to use services such as these, you need to be significantly behind in your payments. In such a case, the debt settlement firm might encourage you not to pay, which ruins your credit, but lets you settle your debt. The risk of overpaying prices can also be high here.

The Last Resort: Bankruptcy

If it ends up that you can't repay your debts, consider bankruptcy as a last resort. Here is some info on filing for bankruptcy and how it impacts your life. Be warned though, filing bankrupt definitely shouldn't be your first option.

Bankruptcy will be a hugely negative mark on your credit history -- one which lasts up to 10 long years. Here's the bottom line: If you are deep in credit card debt, consolidating it is a smart, strategic approach to reduce rates of interest and pay it down quicker.

Let Interstate Associates Fix Your Financial Path...

Also, contacting a respected financial firm like Interstate Associates could be your saving grace.

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If you'd like to let their highly-trained finance professionals help you build a better financial future for you and your family, don't hesitate.

You can get in contact with the financial experts at Interstate Associates by calling 1-800-361-4217 or visit their website here:

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