Credit Card Debt Consolidation Plan
Options for managing your debt
Most people carry some credit card debt, often on multiple cards. Some manage to pay down their balances regularly, avoiding interest and fees. When that debt begins to get out of control and minimum payments grow to be unmanageable, it’s time to find relief with financial help. You are one of many who are seeking help, and you have begun that process, a great way to Live Smarter.
There are a number of options to consider, including consolidating your credit card debt, securing a loan to pay down your balances, or even paying existing balances using a new card with a lower rate. The goal in any approach is to have only one monthly payment to make. We can help you determine an approach that works best for you and your situation.
Before you begin a consultation on debt consolidation, there are some tested strategies you can start with to reduce your credit card debt.
Start by paying more than the minimum required payment on your bill. That minimum keeps the extra fees at bay, though it doesn’t keep them from charging you interest. Get ahead of the bill by paying as much as you can manage each month.
Pay down your smallest bill first, and when it's gone, put that amount toward paying off the next largest. The accomplishment will keep you motivated to keep it going. As an alternative, start with the card charging the highest interest, and concentrate on paying that down first. Then move on to the next highest rate card.
If you know how to set up automatic payments (we can help), start automatic payments to each card so you never miss a payment. It’s a great replacement for monthly reminders that can be ignored.
Call your creditors, relay your willingness to pay your debts, and see if they are willing to negotiate your payment terms, including smaller minimum payments, or even a lower interest rate. Loyal customers are generally given more accommodation, and companies may be more willing to find favorable terms that work for you. This falls under the heading of, “It doesn’t hurt to ask.” If they won’t negotiate, you are no worse off than you started.
Debt Consolidation Plan
When you know you’re not gaining ground quickly enough on those multiple accounts, it’s time to ask for a consultation on debt consolidation. It generally involves consolidating your debts into a single, or fewer loans. Managing one monthly payment is much easier than juggling multiple bills.
Once we evaluate your financial standing, debts/bills, and ability to pay on a monthly basis, we will work with you to consider approaches for consolidating your debt. Some options include:
Personal Loan - A fixed-rate personal loan may be a possible solution, depending on how the interest rate and terms compare to your existing debt.
New Credit Card - A new card with a lower interest rate for balance transfers could make your debt manageable, with one monthly payment at a lower interest rate than you’re currently paying. Again, we can work with you to see if this choice is recommended, depending on the rates on your current card(s), and how they affect your potential new payment.
Home Equity Loan or Line of Credit - If you own a home and have built up some equity, one of these options may be recommended. We can determine if the amount and interest rates on your debt qualifies you for a home equity solution.
Managing Your Debt
Once we work with you to consolidate your credit card debt, we can discuss your financial practices going forward, to help you better manage your debt. We can discuss your savings options, credit card practices and choices, and more, so you can live with less stress and more freedom.
Start to regain your freedom by calling 315-735-8571 to talk about your options or make an appointment with one of our friendly Member service representatives today.