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Now, of that $51 billion, around $34 billion is accruing interest – with much of this going directly to the banks. In this video we look at “How to get out of credit card debt”
In Australia, there are roughly 8 million credit card holders with a combined total of 16 millions credit cards.
And we love to spend on plastic.
Together we’ve amassed a huge outstanding credit card balance of $51 billion dollars – that’s equivalent to $3,200 per credit card account.
Now, of that $51 billion, around $34 billion is accruing interest – with much of this going directly to the banks.
How did we get to this stage?
Well, as an example take Andy. He’s accumulated $3,200 on his credit card over the past 2 years. Using it for everyday expenses, a fun snow trip to Canada, some home improvements (massive TV) and a few emergencies here and then (car breakdown). He’s paying most of it off, most months but the outstanding debt has slowly crept up and it’s time to do something about it.
Credit Card Compare are here to help you with 4 general steps for getting out of credit card debt:
Resolve to do something about it
Don’t just read the news or get stressed out when you receive your monthly credit card statement. Become the Treasurer of your household. You can’t afford to be passive any longer about your credit card debt.
Start actioning stuff now
In order to successfully turn the tide you need a budget, even if it’s not 100% precise. Figure out what you can cut back on and how much more you can afford to repay each month. If you’re married then this means you need to get your better half on board otherwise it’ll be an uphill struggle. Use a balance transfer calculator like this one to work out how much faster you’ll reach the debt free goal when you pay more than the minimum.
Use a free comparison site like credit card compare to compare cards. Even with record levels of credit card debt most people still don’t compare the card in their wallet vs the leading credit card offers. You might be surprised to see what you could get.
Do a balance transfer
You can’t borrow your way out of credit card debt but you can pay less interest and fees en-route to paying it off. Doing a balance transfer speeds this up and help you to avoid interest. Instead of keeping a credit card that charges 20% interest on your balance that you carry month to month, you can cool things off by switching to a new card that gives you 0% for as long as 24 months. There’s lots of balance transfer cards to choose from and any good credit card comparison site like creditcardcompare.com.au will show you how much you stand to save before you even apply.
If you’ve got multiple cards and haven’t done a balance transfer on all of them then you need a little bit more strategy:
Start to pay it down, month by month
There’s a lot you can do like pause your savings plan. Divert funds from existing savings. Sell some stuff you want or need anymore. Use tax returns. Do what you’ve gotta to clear the debt.
And here are 3 mistakes to avoid when getting out of credit card debt…
Don’t spend on the balance transfer credit card
Instead, use the 0% interest period as your opportunity to become debt free otherwise you’re just prolong the problem and be back at the same point all over again. As for your old credit card, keep it on a short lease. If it’s no longer needed, then get rid off the temptation, literally freeze the card, or close the account completely.
Watch for the revert rate
After the 0% balance transfer rate is over, any unpaid balances will be subject to the normal interest rate, which will either be the ‘purchase rate’ or the ‘cash advance rate’ (both typically 18-20%). Do what you can to beat your card into shape before the 0% rate expires.
Don’t trash your credit report
This is the track record of all of your credit activity and it helps lenders to figure out your creditworthiness. More likely than not, you will need to take out a personal loan, refinance your home loan or start a healthier relationship with credit cards in the future, so be disciplined in paying off your new card, on time, every month.