If you are struggling with credit card debt, you are not alone. As of September 2018, the Federal Reserve reported that Americans have more than 1 trillion dollars in revolving debt, which includes debt like credit cards. Many people are only able to make the monthly minimum payment on their credit cards each month. However, a new repayment trick is helping consumers get out of credit card debt faster.
The study produced by researchers at several universities, including Harvard Business School, University of Pittsburgh, the Ohio State University, and the Yale School of Management, show that a repayment by purchase method of paying off credit card debt can be even more successful when it comes to getting the balance down to zero.
This method is also known as a form of budget reckoning where you, as the account holder, review your credit card statement as soon as it is received to evaluate where most of your purchases are made. Rather than make one small payment based on the minimum payment quoted or even just a random lump sum, these researchers believe that by paying off certain expenses, you are more likely to make headway when it comes to paying off the balance.
The research recommends that you look at specific line items and see which items can be paid off each month. For example, instead of making a payment of a random amount, such as $100, add together the number of meals charged that month and pay that amount to cover all the food items purchased that month. You could also target a certain expense, such as a clothing purchase or a travel expense.
By paying off a specific item or type of expense, you are holding yourself accountable for what you spend every month. In addition, researchers argue that the cardholder feels more of a sense of accomplishment after paying off a specific item rather than throwing a minimum amount towards a large balance.
American Express offers a similar plan called “Pay It Plan It,” which lets cardholders split up large purchases of more than $100 to repay them over time. A fixed monthly fee comes with the use of this program.
We offer some important tips for eliminating credit card debt. Some utilize the snowball method whereby they focus all their efforts in paying a higher interest card down, focusing on one card at a time. Another method is through the “island” approach where the consumer has two credit cards: one which is paid in full every month and the other card, which is a promotional no-interest or low-interest rate for big purchases, allowing the person to finance those large purchases over time. Keeping to a strict budget is important if you are planning on using this approach.
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If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.