How to Eliminate Credit Card Debt In 3 Easy Steps
Debt is easy to amass when life throws curveballs at you. Medical emergencies. Major vehicle repairs. Student loans that just won’t go away. All of these things can add uncomfortable weight to your pile of debt.
You put the money on your credit card and tell yourself:
“I’ll have that paid off in no time.”
But then you set the wheels in motion on your business and a whole new set of costs starts to accumulate. Software subscriptions. Equipment purchases. Business licenses and insurance. You tell yourself this is just temporary, that soon you’ll have enough clients and money coming in to pay it off.
There’s just one problem with that: debt doesn’t just put a strain on your spending limits or credit score. It can harm your personal life and business in other ways. In this post, we’ll help you put together a plan to eliminate credit card debt while running a successful and profitable business.
How to Eliminate Credit Card Debt
There are all kinds of debt you might be dealing with at the moment — loans, mortgages, credit card balances. This isn’t a geo-specific problem either. People all around the world toil with looming debt:
Regardless of what you’ve racked up, your debt is apt to take its toll on you.
As an article from Psychology Today reports, there’s scientific evidence of a direct relationship between one’s financial health and their mental and physical state. What’s worse, they feed off of each other:
“Debt is a solvable issue. However, if you’re struggling with depression or anxiety, your mental health issues may impair your ability to solve the problem. Similarly, if you’re drowning in debt, paying for mental health treatment may not seem like a feasible option.”
And credit card debt is one of the most insidious kinds, too, according to Kimberly Palmer, a credit card expert for NerdWallet:
“Credit card debt is the stain on millions of Americans’ finances that doesn’t scrub off easily, if ever. High interest rates combined with expenses that continue to outweigh income mean that some households are unable to fully rid themselves of debt and, in fact, continue to take on more.”
So, what can you do? As a business owner, you might feel stuck as you want to be able to feed money into your business to help it grow. Luckily for you, there is a way in which you can work to eliminate credit card debt while boosting the profitability of your business.
1. Acknowledge the Debt
You know that you have debt, but awareness isn’t enough. You need to know your numbers.
First, enter all of your debts into a spreadsheet. Start with your credit card debts. You’ll be able to add on your loans, mortgages, and other debts later.
Next, get yourself a money management app you can link all of your credit card and banking accounts to.
Then, they’ll shoulder the burden of keeping track of how much debt you’ve accrued and how your spending tracks against your budget.
If you have this system of debt awareness and accountability in place, it’ll be easier to create a payoff plan.
2. Ask About Lower Interest Rates
Sometimes it’s not even the debt itself that prevents you from paying it off. Interest rates — especially after receiving penalties for late payments — can make it difficult to make any progress.
So, before you start planning out your debt payoff, call your credit card companies and ask for a lower interest rate. Even a few points will give you some relief.
Also, don’t forget to explore special offers like 0% APR balance transfers. Even if your credit card company isn’t amenable to lowering your rates, there may be others willing to offer you a special promotional rate that makes it easier to pay off your debt.
3. Create Your Payoff Plan
There are typically two ways to eliminate credit card debt.
The avalanche method:
- Using the debt worksheet above, sort your debts from high to low interest rates.
- Each month, pay the minimum on each card (or loan).
- Whatever you have left over, put that lump sum towards the debt with the highest interest rate.
- When the highest interest rate card has been paid off, add the amount you were paying to the next card.
The snowball method:
- Using the debt worksheet above, sort your debts owed from low to high.
- Each month, pay the minimum on each card (or loan).
- Whatever you have left over, put that lump sum towards the smallest of your debts.
- As you remove each debt, move onto the next one but make sure you add in the minimum payment you were paying to the card you just paid off to the next one.
Choose the method you’re most comfortable with. Create a payoff timeline. And put those credit cards away. There should be no more debt added to them until you have them paid off or closed them for good.
Then, automate your payouts or, at the very least, schedule time to manage them once a month.
Eliminating credit card debt is only half the battle. You need to get your business to a place where cash is steadily and predictably coming in.
To ensure that you’re working towards these goals, you have to take a three-pronged approach:
- Set a budget for your business and personal life. Make enough money in your business as well as from passive or recurring revenue ventures.
- Strengthen your financial foundation by saving money for retirement, your rainy day fund, and your personal income.
Do these three things and you’ll find that your debt elimination plan will go along much more smoothly and quickly than anticipated.
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