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What’s the best way to pay down credit card debt?

Follow these straightforward tips to pay down your debt and take steps toward financial freedom

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Wrestling with credit card debt can seem like a never-ending battle. Lots of folks right there with you - Americans have more than $1 trillion in credit card debt. That’s the highest it’s been since the Federal Reserve Bank of New York started tracking that stat in 1999. 

There’s no magic wand to wave away your credit card debt, but we've got some tried and true methods that can help you whip that debt into shape and set you on the path to a debt-free life.

Roll with the snowball method

The snowball method is a great way to start chipping away at debt, especially if you love celebrating the small wins. Here's the lowdown: Start paying off your smallest debts first while making the minimum monthly payments on the bigger ones. Once you've knocked out the smallest debt, apply that payment to the next smallest. It's kind of like a snowball rolling downhill!

This approach not only helps you get a grip on your finances, but it also gives you a morale boost because you can see progress happening. The downside to this approach is that more interest will accrue on your biggest debts, so you’ll end up paying more money over time.

Aim high with the avalanche method

If your income or savings allows you to pay more sooner, the avalanche method might be your thing. Here, your highest-interest debts take center stage.

To kick this off, write down all your credit cards along with their balance, minimum payment, and interest rate (usually marked as an APR% on your statement). Then grab a free avalanche debt spreadsheet to map and monitor your payments, beginning with the card with the highest interest rate.

The beauty of this strategy is that you end up paying less interest in the long run, which means more money stays in your pocket. The trick here is to allocate a certain amount to knock down the highest credit card balance, and once that card is paid off, use that money to tackle the next high-interest card.

Check out debt consolidation

If you're juggling multiple credit card balances, debt consolidation might be your ticket to a simpler financial life. This is all about bundling up your multiple credit card balances into one single loan, meaning you only have one monthly payment to remember.

This can make the debt feel more manageable and help you avoid late or missed payments. Instead of dealing with multiple debts with sky-high interest rates, debt consolidation offers one lower rate.

Some of the options for consolidating debt include taking out a personal loan or using a balance transfer credit card. Check with your bank to see if they offer debt consolidation loans designed for credit card debt, and make sure to weigh the pros and cons of each choice.

But remember, no matter which tool you choose for consolidating your debt, always read the fine print. Some options come with fees or interest rates that could put you back to square one. Here at WorkMoney, we're ready to help you navigate the ins and outs of reducing credit card debt to dodge fees and find the perfect plan for your circumstances.

Ask for a lower interest rate

Another savvy move to manage credit card debt is to ask for a lower interest rate. This simple step could save you a ton of money in the long haul. Companies are often happy to accommodate loyal customers who have a record of timely payments.

Let's kick credit card debt to the curb with WorkMoney

Ready to take the bull by the horns and manage your credit card debt? Become a member at WorkMoney. We've got a bunch of financial tools and resources to help you negotiate your credit card debt and find solutions that won't break the bank.