To make your life a little easier, we've got your back with a 7-step plan to pay off your credit card debt.
First things first, stop using your credit card. Yes, it can be tempting to swipe for that extra latte or a weekend getaway, but you need to put a stop to it. Every time you use your credit card, you're adding to your debt and making it harder to pay off. Cut up your card or freeze it in a block of ice if you have to, but do whatever it takes to stop using it.
Next up, take a good hard look at your debts. Write down all of your credit card balances, interest rates, and minimum payments. This will give you a clear picture of what you're dealing with and help you create a plan of attack.
Now it's time to make a budget. You need to know how much money you have coming in and going out each month. List all of your income sources, including your salary, any side hustles, and government payments. Then, list all of your expenses, including rent, bills, groceries, and any other discretionary spending. Look for areas where you can cut back and free up some extra cash to put towards your debt.
You might also like:
> No ledger? No worries! 5 ways to boost your financial cred with a landlord
> The 30% rule: How much can I afford to spend on rent?
> Can I improve my credit score by paying rent on time?
Once you have a budget, you can start prioritising your debts. List your credit card debts from the highest interest rate to the lowest. Focus on paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first while still making minimum payments on your other debts. This will save you money on interest in the long run.
If you're struggling with high-interest rates, consider a balance transfer. This involves transferring your credit card balance to a new card with a lower interest rate. Be careful, though. Balance transfers often come with fees and may have an introductory period with a low interest rate that will eventually go up.
Snowballing your payments means putting any extra money you have towards your smallest debt while still making minimum payments on your other debts. Once the smallest debt is paid off, move onto the next smallest debt and so on. This will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation as you see your debts disappearing one by one.
You might also like:
> Rent hacking: Negotiate your way to cheaper rent today
> Love Afterpay? We do too. But could it affect your chance of buying a house?
> Point hacking: Earn rewards by paying your rent with a credit card on RentPay
If you're struggling to make payments, don't be afraid to get help. Speak to a financial counsellor or debt management service for advice on how to manage your debt. There are also government support services available to help you if you're experiencing financial hardship.
Paying off your credit card debt is not easy, but it is possible. With this 7-step plan, you can take control of your finances and start working towards a debt-free future. Remember to stop using your credit card, take stock of your debts, make a budget, prioritise your debts, consider a balance transfer, snowball your payments, and get help if you need it. You've got this!