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Can you pay off your credit card debt?

Many Florida residents go through periods in which financial strain is a serious concern. For some, these periods will pass, and they will go on to achieve a measure of financial security. In other cases, however, excessive levels of credit card debt can create a scenario in which aggressive debt relief is necessary. For those who would like to pay down their existing debt on their own, the following tips could be of help.

When deciding where to allocate one's payments, the best approach is to pay down the cards with the highest interest rates first. This can save a lot of money over the course of time, as the higher rate will apply to a decreasing balance. Once an account is paid off, however, be wary of closing the card, since this can lower credit scores.

Another tip involves transferring balances from a card with a high interest rate to one with a low or zero percent interest rate. There are fees connected with these offers, and the interest rates often skyrocket after the introductory period. This tactic involves a great deal of discipline and time, however, and can lead to an even worse financial scenario if the borrower is not able to stay on top of each account.

Another important part of credit card debt relief is making the conscious decision to stop placing new charges on open lines of credit. Leave the cards at home, or ask a trusted friend or family member to hold them temporarily. Putting an end to reliance on credit cards is a great step in the right direction.

When searching for credit card debt relief, Florida residents have a number of options. A stringent repayment plan can be successful for many, but the process of paying down existing levels of debt can be time consuming. In some cases, consumers simply do not have the income necessary to repay their credit card debt, and turn to personal bankruptcy as a more rapid and effective means of debt relief.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "6 Ways to Pay Off $600 or $6,000 in Credit Card Debt", Holly Perez, April 10, 2014

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