Credit cards are fast becoming a blight on the American economy, but they also help stimulate growth. The problem comes when users are forced to (or voluntarily) overspend and begin the never ending cycle of paying less than the full balance on the credit card. At this point you officially have credit card debt.
When we got married we had over $34,000 in outstanding debts, much of it on credit cards. After sitting down to have a good cry I got things into perspective. With a solid plan and the determination to stick with it, we could have those debts completely paid off within a couple of years.
The time it takes to clear those debts depends on your income and ability to trim other expenses in order to funnel as much money as possible toward those debts. It does NOT mean that you will have no life and no fun. You will have to make tough choices so your life should be different, but you can always make it fun.
There are several ways to play this game and win. You can consolidate your balances into a lower interest loan, you could refinance your mortgage and roll those debts into your home loan, or you could play the game of transferring higher interest balances to low or zero interest cards. I chose the latter option, you will need to consider which option is best for you based on your own credit rating, your ability to secure low interest loans, your ability to repay and most importantly, your level of discipline.
If you have no discipline when it comes to money, then the process of transferring balances could be hard for you, as it requires you to pay attention to when your zero interest credit card offer expires and move that balance to the next card at the right time. If this is too time consuming for you, then you’ll definitely want to look into refinancing your mortgage or getting a consolidation loan to cover all your credit cards.
I love numbers, I love math, and playing with money like this is a game for me not a chore. So transferring balances to new cards every few months was fun. Watching those balances shrink as I paid ZERO interest the entire time was a thrill. I felt victorious over the credit card companies… and over my debt. As a result we paid off over $34,000 in debts in about 18 months. When you’re not paying any interest and you don’t stray from the plan it can work. It really can. You don’t have to love the game in order to win it. You just have to keep playing and don’t lose sight of the goal. Pay off the debt.