Some Cold Hard Credit Card Debt Facts
Everyone needs a little guidance when it comes to financial matters and it also helps to have fact rather than opinion. Getting credit card debt facts can sometimes be hard but having the facts can help you better deal with your monthly debt and help you talk to your credit card companies should that need ever arise. If you are armed with the facts then you can better lay out a plan for paying off that debt and maybe a little insight that can help you eliminate your debt completely.
Minimum Payments Are Not Enough
Lately this has been changing but for the most part minimum payments are not set up to help you pay off your card quickly at all. Minimum payments are set up to pay your monthly interest and service charges and then a tiny bit of the principle. If you are always paying your monthly payments then the fact is your credit card company would rather see you with a higher limit rather than working with you to lower the principle. The credit card companies are in it for interest and service charge payments and as long as you are making those then you will always be a hit with the credit card companies. Just paying $10 a month more to your minimum payment will speed up the pay off process but what will really help is not using the card at all.
Interest Rates Are Negotiable
A lot of people do not realize this and a lot of people do not keep track of their interest payments every month either. Look at the interest rate on your next credit card bill and just see what it is. If you started a couple of years ago with a great rate from some bank at around 12% then chances are by now it is up and around 20%. The fact is that they don’t have to ask you to raise your interest rate and they can, and do, allow an interest rate increase all the time. Call them up and tell them that if they do not lower the interest rate on your card then you are paying off the balance and moving to a different card. You have nothing to lose except several percentage points in interest payments.
Credit Unions Are Great For Getting a Credit Card
If you belong to a credit union then work with them immediately to consolidate your debt with them and get a credit card from them and then cut all your other cards up. Credit unions are the best kinds of financial institutions to work with and if you wear out your welcome at a credit union then the next step for you should be counseling because you have a spending problem.
John Stevenson holds an MBA in Finance from The Simon School of Business. For more information please visit Reduce Credit Card Debt.