The current growth of UK debt is £1million every 8 minutes and we all contribute a Stonking £263 million in interest a day. There is currently 27.4million credit cards transactions made a day with a total value of £1.56billion. The total credit card debt in the UK for September 2008 was £55.7 billion and the average adult in the UK has approximately 4 credit cards, store cards and debit cards.
It is little wonder that we are all looking for the ‘secrets to paying off our credit card debts.’ We make our monthly payment and then find that we paid more in interest than the amount that was reduced off our outstanding balance. Frightening isn’t it!
When you look closely at your credit card statement you will see that the interest rates are somewhere between 0% and 27% per year depending on the provider. The average card is generally around the 17% +/-mark.
The secrets to paying off your credit card debts are:-
1. Credit card consolidation is the solution of last resort unless it is the only option available to you due to the lack of your disposable income.
2. Shop around for a credit card provider who offers a 0% credit card deal for the longest period of time. The normal offer is for 9 months or 12 months. Check the providers transfer fees for moving your balance to them and see if you can find a provider with either a lower fee or even better no transfer fee. Make sure that you move the balance to another card at the end of the 0% deal. If you don’t then you will certainly go on their worst interest rate deal. Don’t try and arrange too many 0% deals in the same month as you could find yourself being turned down. Just move one or two cards every other month.
3. It is also worth considering a credit card with a low interest rate for the term of the balance. But don’t spend any money on it as the interest rate for new purchases will be exorbitantly higher.
4. If you are paying any Payment protection Insurance then you must see if you can find a cheaper policy to cover all your outstanding cards elsewhere. You should cover yourself for accident, sickness and redundancy with the same cover or better. Then cancel the credit card protection insurance from your credit card.
5. Move all of your credit card balances to better interest rate deals. Make sure that you move all you highest interest rates onto the lowest interest rate deals first.
6. Don’t forget you can always ring up your credit card provider and ask what deals they have. It might be a better deal then you are currently on and any deal that is lower than you are paying now is better.
7. Now you have rearranged your credit cards you should start paying as much as you can comfortably afford off the highest interest rate cards first and the minimum allowed off the interest only cards. Get the highest interest rate cards down as quick as you can. Keep moving those cards to the next best interest rate deal as soon as the last deal finishes until all your credit cards have a ZERO balance.
8. Once you have cleared a credit card balance completely then cancel the card and move the money you were spending on the card you cancelled to the next card and watch as your balances just fall away.
9. Start using your debit cards instead of your credit cards and you will find that this will curb your passion to spend on plastic. You will go overdrawn in your bank account if you have not got enough money to cover your purchases. The bank will charge you an overdrawn charge of around £20 to £37 and you will quickly realise that you can only spend what you can afford.
10. When you have a Zero balance and one credit card left you need to reward yourself you have earned it! What a Result! Congratulations
Now that you are debt free and in control of your finances you may like to try this. You have now qualified as a Master Credit Card Tart. Apply for a 0% credit card. Then withdraw the full amount of credit they have given you and buy National Premium Bonds. Pay the minimum monthly payment allowed. At the end of the 0% deal move the balance to the next 0% deal and so on. Here is the best bit it will never cost you anything and all the winnings are tax-free and all yours courteous of the credit card company. You may just be one of the two lucky £1million Winners that they announce each month. What a flexible friend you now have!