According to a recent report from CreditCards.com, 35% of consumers use credit cards as their preferred method of payment; For online shopping it is 48%. In addition, it stated that credit is the preferred payment method for most people at department stores. Given the convenience that credit cards offer it is no wonder that credit card debt have grown into a major financial hindrance for many credit card users. Here are couple things to remember in order to reduce your credit card debt.
Credit card Interest Rates will hurt you
The national average for credit card interest rates is 15.18%. What this means in the simplest terms is that for every dollar that is spent via credit card, consumers pay on average .15 cents (rounded) on the dollar. Then there’s the Annual Percentage Rate or (APR) which factors in the small amounts of interest that is compounded on account balances daily ultimately increasing the overall cost of credit. If you don’t manage your account effectively you’ll feel like you’re not making any progress reducing your credit card debt.
Pay off your balance(s)
To reduce your credit card debt you have to minimize the amount of interest you pay on your card. For instance if you carry a monthly balance on your account, in addition to your regular scheduled monthly payment you’re also going to be paying interest on the full outstanding balance. The interest rate on your rolling balance is normally much higher as well. To avoid paying a higher rate of interest try to pay off your balance every month or pay more than your scheduled monthly payment. This will reduce your credit card debt and minimize the amount of interest you’ll have to pay.
Avoid Cash Advances
One area to avoid as it relates to reducing your credit card debt is “credit card cash advances.” Cash-advance interest rates can range from 9.99 percent to 36 percent, with a median rate of 23.53%. Can you even imagine paying 23 or 36 cents on every dollar? (see 2015 Cash Advance Survey: Convenient cash will cost you plenty.) The bottom line is credit card cash advances are very costly and should only be utilized as a last resort if at all.
Finally, credit card debt can have a negative impact on you financially, especially if you carry balances over from month to month. It is possible however to mitigate some of those negative factors and reduce your credit card debt by paying attention to interest rates, paying off balances and minimizing cash advances.