Jun 17

A guest Post -

One of the very few things that the vast majority of Americans have in common is that most of us have credit card debt! Exactly how much credit card debt, who knows? I’ve seen estimates as low as around $7,000.00 per household and as high as $15,000.00 per household. My guess is that it’s somewhere between. So, let’s say the average household has $10,000.00 worth of credit card debt, that’s a lot to pay back!

The fact that most of us have overwhelming amounts of credit card debt leads many of us to look for a great way to get some help. But, when we search for ways to get out of debt, all we find is a bunch of cool ways to save a lot of money and…oh yea…they hurt your credit score! But, is there any way to become completely debt free without harming your credit score? Of course there is!

Debt Really Isn’t That Difficult

The first thing that you need to know is, although finance guru’s make it seem like debt is a huge mountain to climb with all kinds of twists, turns and obstacles to tackle, it’s not. Debt is very simple, it’s just debt! There are only a few things that you need to know to really come up with your own, great debt relief plan. Here they are…

Over 80% Of Consumers Use Estimations To Live On Mental Budgets – One of the biggest problems that consumers face when paying off debt is, they never know exactly how much money they will be able to pay next month. Not being able to come up with a consistent monthly payment leads consumers to just paying the minimum and keeping them in debt for years and years to come. The first thing that any debt relief program should consist of is an accurate budget spreadsheet! You can make yours free on Google Drive!

It’s Possible To Negotiate Cost With Lenders – Lenders are willing to negotiate in times that require it. For instance, if they feel like they are going to lose your business, they may be willing to negotiate your interest rate. Not to mention, your interest rate will account for the vast majority of fees you will pay for your credit card. Also, in times when lenders feel as though they must negotiate the principle balance or they may never see the money, credit card companies are generally willing to negotiate the balance. Keep in mind, balance negotiations will harm your credit score. That being said, there are a few things you really need to know about these types of negotiations, so, if you want to do this, please read…How To Negotiate With Credit Card Companies.

Balance Transfer Credit Cards Are Available For Those With Good Credit – If your lender isn’t willing to negotiate with you, you may be able to qualify for a balance transfer credit card. With these cards, you can transfer your debt to an account with a lower promotional and long term interest rate. However, when taking advantage of balance transfers, always think of transfer fees and long term rates. In my experience, I’ve noticed that many people skip over these crucial factors and end up kicking themselves for it later!

Your Highest Interest Rate Debt Is Your Most Important Debt – No matter how much you owe total on each of your debts, your highest interest rate debt is going to cost you the most per dollar to borrow. That being said, you should always focus on your highest interest rate first and use the funds that become available once it is paid off to move to your next highest interest rate debt.

Lets Put It All Together

OK, now we have all the pieces, let’s make a plan. Start by making a budget spreadsheet. If your not sure of how to do this, read…How To Make The Ultimate Budget Spreadsheet. Next, use your spreadsheet to organize your debts from highest interest rate to lowest and start calling to negotiate interest rates, or balances in extreme cases. If your lender isn’t willing to negotiate rates, consider balance transfer credit cards. Once you’ve got your rates to where you want them, create a plan that attacks the highest interest rate first leading to less cost overall!

This article was written by Joshua Rodriguez, proud owner and founder of CNA Finance and avid personal finance journalist. Join the conversation with Joshua on facebook!

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