“I spent too much at Christmas and now my credit card statement is out of control. Bills are coming in and I don’t know how to prioritise”. Finance expert Anthony Bell comes to your ‘Rescu’ and helps you get back on track after the expense of Christmas.
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Here are Anthony Bell’s tips to get the credit cards back into line after the festive season:
1. Determine what the balance outstanding is on all of your credit cards.
2. Ascertain the interest rate charged on all your credit cards.
Some credit card companies charge a higher rate of interest than others. Naturally, you want to pay off the higher interest rate cards faster than the lower rate interest cards.
3. Consider consolidating all your card balances into one card.
This will make the entire process easier to manage in the long run.
4. Look into 0% interest balance transfers.
When you transfer card balances over to a new card, some institutions provide a zero percentage interest period, or a very low interest rate period. By maximising on these offers, it will allow you to pay off your debt faster. This is because all or the majority of your payments will go towards the primary debt as opposed to mainly going towards the interest component of your card debt.
5. Consider consolidating your credit card debt into a personal loan.
By having one loan, it allows you to easily manage the payment process and you may be able to get a longer payment term to pay off the debt. This could make payment of the loan far more manageable and realistic to maintain.
6. Set up a realistic budget that allows you to cover your expenses and pay off your card debt as quickly as you can.
7. Change your spending patterns.
If you are a person who cannot stick to a budget then it may be time to cut up the credit cards. By cutting up your cards, you will no longer be able to use them; hence you will no longer be able to create more debt!
As an alternative, you could use a debit card. A debit card is limited to the amount of money you have in your account, this way you can only spend as much as you have rather than living beyond your means.
If you cannot bear cutting up your card, consider getting the credit limit reduced to a level that is more reasonable given your income and the budget that you have set for the New Year.
By reducing your card limit, it could also assist you in avoiding the same situation next festive season or even next month! There is no point in having multiple cards with multiple limits at levels that are unmanageable. All this will do is get you into this situation time and time again.
For a full list of his services, visit www.bellpartners.com