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10/14/07

Saving Money While Paying Off Your Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt can be a real financial drain. You have all heard the statistics and seen the commercials. If you made only minimum payments, it could take you over 7 years to pay off a debt of only $2,000! This is insane! Why pay off the interest when you could be paying off the principal? There are some simple steps you could follow in order to save money on your credit card debt.

First, you must make more than the minimum payment. If you broke down the minimum payment, you would discover that almost half of it goes to paying interest. This is money that you are paying that is not reducing your outstanding balance. If you pay more than the monthly payment, more money goes to the pay off the principal and thus, it takes less time to pay off the debt.

Second, you can utilize a balance transfer. This option is only good if your interest rate is high. Sometimes, credit card companies will offer to give you a card with a 3, 6, 9, or even 12 month interest free or very low interest rate (usually around 2%) introductory period. After the introductory period, the interest rate resets to the default rate. If this default rate is lower than you current interest rate, you should transfer your balance to this new credit card. It is a very simple procedure, you will save tons of money because you will significantly pay down your debt during the introductory period, and your default interest rate on the new card will be better than the interest rate on the current card thus, saving you more money. Everybody wins!

Last, you can call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate. You have to have good credit to do this and usually have to have had an account with the credit card company for over six months. However, if you can take advantage of this, I suggest that you do. Many people do not know that you can negotiate with your credit card company and raise your credit limit and reduce you interest rate. If they seem reluctant at first, threaten to close your account. Make them believe that you can receive a better deal elsewhere. Better yet, have a better deal waiting and see if your current company can match it. If they claim they cannot, tell them that you will no longer do business with them and hang up. However, do not close the account because this would negatively affect your credit score. Instead, never use the card and see if your current company comes around.

Saving money on debt is possible; you just have to know where to look and what to do. Take advantage of these easy to use tips, and you will be debt free for less money in a faster time frame!

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