Sometimes life catches you when you are in a bind. For some, it could be an accidental mishap with your car or something in your home that needs urgent repairing. While credit cards can help alleviate some of your money woes, it can also lead you down a rabbit hole of debt. If your credit card debt feels like it is weighing you down, you’re not alone. A study by ASIC has found that more than one in six Australian consumers struggle with debt.
Credit card debt relief can sometimes ease the burden and stress of overwhelming debt, but there is not one simple solution for every situation. Find a credit card debt consultant that understands your circumstances, your lifestyle, and goals. A financial consultant that is there to help will be open and honest about your options when it come to managing your credit card debt.
There are a range of strategies for credit card debt relief that can include credit card consolidation and general strategies which keep your credit healthy. Here are a few options to improve your credit card debt that you can consider.
1. See it before you spend it
A simple way to help when managing down your credit card debt is to track your spending. Think of a fitness tracker. Many people wear a fitness tracker around their wrist to encourage them to start walking more. Once you are more aware of your steps, you can better outline your goals and be more motivated to reach them. Similarly, tracking your money and setting a budget may assist credit card debt relief because you can see where your money goes. Knowing where spending occurs can help you make tweaks and changes. Once you have outlined your goals, nominate a spending limit that you can realistically pay off. This can also help you avoid temptations to spend more money than you can afford.
2. Time waits for no one
When you’re up against credit card debt, late payment fees and extra interest can be an unexpected cost. Try and avoid these fees by paying your card off on time. Timely repayments may also be favourably recorded on your credit report. Try and set up your account so that it transfers out on your pay day.
3. More than the minimum
Set up a reoccurring payment from your debit account to cover more than the minimum amount so you don’t miss any payments. This means that you’ll see a more realistic overview of your funds and you may avoid overspending your account. Paying only the minimum amount will only keep you trapped in credit card debt for longer than necessary. If you need help managing your credit card debt, a financial expert can help you with a budget.
4. Transfer to a lower interest rate
If you are paying a high amount of interest, you might consider a balance transfer. Some credit providers offer a special low rate when you transfer your balance. You need to carefully consider if you can pay off your balance within this limited time. If you cannot, then there are better options to help get your credit card debt under control, like consolidation. If you have difficulty paying the minimum on your credit card it may be worth your time and stress to find a knowledgeable debt consultant. A financial expert will be able to explore if credit card consolidation or a balance transfer is for you.
5. Close your cards properly
Cutting up your card doesn’t mean it’s completely cancelled. Make sure you contact your bank and go through the right protocols for cancelling your cards. This way you won’t get tempted to start using them again and get caught up in the debt cycle. Once you bite the bullet and cancel, an end date to credit card debt may give you some relief.
6. Build an emergency fund
Don’t get caught out without a fund for a ‘rainy day’. Rather than reach for a credit card if an unexpected scenario arises, you can instead dip into your emergency fund. Put aside a bit of money every month and save it away for a ‘rainy day’. It is crucial that you top up this amount over time so that your safety net can keep you afloat in tougher times.
7. Work smarter, not harder
You should try and limit the number of cards you have. If you have a few different payments going at once, you will have to work harder to keep up with different interest rates and repayment dates. If you cannot cut down the number of cards you have, you might consider credit card debt consolidation as an alternative option. Credit card consolidation combines your balances into one interest rate, which may keep it easier to keep track of your payments.
8. Go through your statements with a fine-tooth comb
Look through your balance and statements to make sure that there aren’t any hidden costs. The more you’re analysing your spending, the easier it is to cut out the fat in your budget and stick to your goals. There is always room in your budget to cut out unnecessary spending or review your habits. The more you can cut out your wants, you can better focus on your needs.
9. Consider your options when you approach your credit debt
There are a few options if you feel like your credit card debt is overwhelming. Credit card debt relief is a journey that doesn’t have one answer. If a firm is claiming a ‘solve all’ solution, be weary!
Improving your credit card will take some time and hard work, so make sure you’ve considered your potential avenues. Some options like a debt management plan may negatively affect your ability to receive credit in the future. These considerations are important when exploring your options.
10. Get help from a credit card debt consultant
Sometimes you’ll need to call in the experts. This is when a credit card debt consultant can come in. A financial expert can help you craft a budget you can actually stick to while planning for the future. Seek help from financial experts that can make a personalised solution to managing credit card debt.
A debt consultant will also outline all of your options for you and may help you keep your credit healthy. Credit card consolidation requires a lot of time and research, so an expert might help you navigate the best option for your situation.
Arm yourself with the right tools for you and seek the help of financial experts
At Debt Fix, we want to help all Aussies keep their credit healthy to reach their goals. If you feel like you are lagging behind or simply want help navigating credit card debt consolidation, sometimes a consultation can help. A debt consultant can ensure that nothing gets missed and chat through your situation. We’re determined to help you come up with a plan that you can stick to and be empowered by! At Debt Fix, we believe that every situation is different, and that each scenario requires a tailored plan. Chat to us today to see how we might be able to help you!