In the throes of this recession, the average Americans is just piling on more credit card debt and finding it more difficult to find a way out. According to a report released by TransUnion, as of October 2009, the national average for credit card debt $5,612 per person. The average! That's scary knowing that the job situation is only getting worse with at least one company announcing job losses at least every week. So what can we do to get out of credit card debt?
- Pay more than the minimum. You will not get out of credit card debt quickly if you pay only the minimum. I am so glad that the Credit Card Act was passed so that this reality will be in front of the eyes of debtors every month.
- Pay off credit cards with high interest rates and fees first. The more you pay on these high interest credit cards, the better.
- Use your negotiation skills. Even if your credit is not perfect, your credit card lender may be willing to reduce your credit card interest rate or even waive an annual fee if you just ask. But there is a trick to it. Let them know you are willing to leave them if they don't comply with you request. This may be very effective for those who have long-term (good) relationships with their credit card lenders.
- Avoid late fees by paying your credit card bills on time. I know this may be difficult for some debtors who have suffered a job loss or who is facing some other financial crisis; but it is critical. If you can't pay your credit card bill on time then you may need to consider bankruptcy. That takes is to our last tip.
- Consider bankruptcy. If you find that you are unable to handle your credit card debt or any other type of personal debt, you may want to consider bankruptcy. Remember, if your financial situation is prolonged, delaying a bankruptcy may just be making it worse. Chapter 7 bankruptcy will allow you to discharge unsecured debt such a credit card, while Chapter 13 bankruptcy will allow you to repay your debts under reasonable terms in 3 to 5 years.