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Credit card debt can pile up quickly, particularly around expensive times of year like Christmas.
As statements from the festive period begin landing on doormats, we take a look at how you can pay off your credit card debt quickly in 2019.
Switch your balance to a cheaper card
Credit card borrowing is expensive. While the Bank of England base rate is still below 1%, the average interest rate on credit cards is around 18%.
Fortunately, there are some balance transfer credit cards that offer a 0% introductory offer for a limited time. This means that you won’t pay any interest for up to 32 months, so you can concentrate on paying down your debt without being charged extras.
These kinds of cards typically charge a fee of around 3% on the total balance transfer, however, and they are usually only available to people with a good credit history.
Pay your most expensive cards first
If you have debt spread over multiple credit cards then you should prioritise your repayments. Some cards have higher interest rates than others and so are more expensive.
You should work on paying back the cards with the highest rates of interest first, while only making the minimum repayment on any other cards to extra fees.
If you have any other debts secured against your home or your car then these should also be a priority, as defaulting on these debts can have a serious impact on your personal life.
Pay more than the minimum
It can be tempting to just make the minimum payment each month. But making a small minimum payment each month could take decades to pay off and result in you paying thousands in interest, even on a relatively small debt.
You should aim to pay off your whole credit card bill each month. If you can’t pay it back in one month, then pay off as much as possible and work out a repayment plan for the rest.
Seek professional debt advice
Many Brits will ignore problem debt for years before seeking professional debt advice. But ignoring debt will only make the situation worse.
Insolvency practitioners can offer debt advice, as well as a range of insolvency services like an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), designed for people struggling with problem levels of debt.
An IVA is an agreement with your creditors to pay all or pay of your debt over a set period. You make regular payments to the insolvency practitioner, who will divide this money between creditors.
Umbrella Insolvency Licensed Insolvency Practitioner Tom Fox said: “Having a Merry Christmas can take its toll on the family finances.
“For many people, festive overspending is manageable with careful budgeting and repayment plans. For others, though, Christmas can make a bad situation even worse.
“Dealing with debt doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There is some excellent support out there and there are usually several different options available to anyone that’s finding it hard to repay what they owe. The first and most important step is picking up the phone.”
Get advice on personal debt today. Call: 0800 611 8888.