There’s no doubt about it—credit cards are one of the most (if not the most) handy financial tools we have access to in this present moment. And if they’re used responsibly, credit cards bring many benefits to the table including:
- Rewards programs
- Transaction protection
- Improved credit history
But if your credit card spending gets out of hand, the consequences can outweigh the benefits by a landslide. In total, the Federal Reserve Bank estimates that Americans owe a record-breaking $1.04 trillion in credit card debt. That’s not to say the majority of Americans are in financial trouble—there are plenty of credit card users that have manageable balances on their card, but there are also those who have escalating credit card debt that could become unmanageable without a consolidation plan in place.
There are a few different ways you can tackle credit card debt and regain control of your finances once again.
Here’s how you can consolidate credit card debt:
Seek financial advising
To determine the best debt consolidation plan for your unique situation, you may want to enlist the assistance of a financial advisor to help you choose the right course of action. A professional accountant can review your finances to advise which plan best fits your budget and which makes the most sense for your financial future.
Open up a personal loan
A personal loan is a type of loan that can be used to consolidate credit card payments into a single account. This can make it easier for consumers to make consistent credit card payments because a personal loan allows them to focus on paying one loan instead of multiple cards.
Depending on your credit score, you may be able to qualify for a lower interest rate on your loan, which could reduce the amounts you’re paying to your credit card issuer.
Use a balance transfer card
Similar to a personal loan, a balance transfer card enables consumers to combine credit card balances from multiple cards onto a single card. The benefit of this is that balance transfer cards generally offer lower interest rates at the beginning, so you could potentially save a lot of money on credit card interest payments.
After the rate is over, however, the original credit card interest rate it typically instated. When using a balance transfer card to consolidate debt, it would be best practice to pay it off as soon as possible to avoid paying the original interest rate.
Consider other debt repayment options
When you consolidate your credit card debt, you’re still building up debt while you pay down your credit card balances. If you want to stray from accruing more debt, you might consider other options to help you lower your credit balances.
Here are a few options to consider:
- Limit credit card spending
- Create a budget and make paying off debt a priority
- Ask if your credit card company or other lenders can lower your payments to make them more manageable
When choosing a method to consolidate your credit card debt, you should always consider your financial situation first. Use these tips to help you find the strategy that makes the most sense for you.