Many people experience credit card debt, so if you are one of them – don’t worry. You are not alone. It can be daunting to see your credit card amount not lowering but there are plenty of ways to which you can get yourself out of debt and into financial freedom.
Avoid making new purchases:
Try this exercise. Try locking your credit card away for a month. Pay everything with cash and you will be surprised how much you can do without. This will also avoid you making any new purchases.
Calculate the total amount of money you owe:
Write down how much money you owe in credit cards. It may be more than one credit card that you own, so calculate it all and write it down. Write down the interest you’re paying on each of the amounts and other charges as well. Seeing this in front of you and in writing will help you face the truth.
Set up automated payments:
Getting into the habit of paying a credit card debt might be a little tough. However if you set up a small weekly automated transfer to your credit card, you will be paying it off without realising
Create a budget:
Work out your essential expenses vs your non-essential expenses. By cutting down on the non-essential expenses such as dining out or cutting a habit, you can use that money to put towards your debt-free future. You can read our article 5 steps to create a successful budget for an easy and simple way to get your budget into shape.
Contact your credit card provider:
This isn’t an essential step but if you are feeling overwhelmed with your debt amount, contact your credit card provider to renegotiate your terms. Providers usually offer a temporary stop to repayments or a cheaper interest rate.
If you have multiple credit cards, here are some more tips on beating the debt:
- Consolidate your debts onto one card
- Pay off the card with the highest interest rate first
- Pay off the card with the lowest balance first
For information about other options for managing bills and debts, ring 1800 007 007 from anywhere in Australia to talk to a free and Independent financial counsellor. Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment planIf you are on government benefits, ask if you can receive an advance from Centrelink: www.humanservices.gov.au/advancepayments.
The Government’s MoneySmart website shows you how small amount loans work and suggests other options that may help you.
* This statement is an Australian Government’s requirement under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.