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How To Reduce Your Credit Card Debt
Michalis 'BIG Mike' Kotzakolios

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Nothing is quite as scary as waking up one day and realizing that you are barely able to make the minimum monthly payments on your credit cards. If you have found yourself in this sort of a situation, here are a few tips that will help ease the burden of credit card debt, and strengthen your budget.

First, stop using your credit cards. In order to bring those balances down, you will need to stop adding balances every month. Take the cards out of your wallet or purse, and put them in a safe place. Better yet, cut them up; you can always get a replacement card within two to three days if absolutely necessary. Plugging this leak in your finances is your first step to financial freedom.

Next, get a handle on your credit card debt by prioritizing your cards by balance and interest rate. The idea is to get a solid hold on how much you actually owe, and the amount of interest you are paying. Once you understand where and how those monthly balances are created, it is easier to devise a strategy to incrementally retire your outstanding debt.

Last, take your prioritized list and pick the card with the lowest balance. Devote as much as you can to paying off this one card. When you have retired that credit card debt, move on to the next card on the list. Make sure you pay the same amount you were paying on the other card, plus the minimum payment as well. Continue to pay the minimum due on all your other cards while you are focused on paying off one card at a time. As time goes by, you will see the cumulative credit card debt decrease at a respectable pace. By choosing to stop creating new debt and systematically focusing on paying off one card at a time, you eliminate the problems associated with borrowing money to pay off your credit card debt, only to run the cards back up before the loan is paid. While you will probably pay a little more in interest in the short term, your financial outlook will be brighter in the long term.

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