Money problems are arguably one of the biggest stressors Americans face today. When someone is dealing with a large amount of debt, the stress can compound quickly. Whatever type of financial issue someone may be facing, whether it be credit card debt, the possibility of foreclosure, or student loan debt, this added stress can adversely affect a person’s overall well-being, their personal relationships, even their health.
The following methods are just a few ways consumers can get that financial burden and added stress under control.
Credit Card Balance Transfer
If a person is dealing with a lot of credit card debt on multiple cards or balances on cards with high interest rates, a balance transfer may be a helpful tool to not only consolidate that debt, but also transfer it to a card with a zero or low interest rate. Having a lower interest rate or even none at all can make paying off the card that much easier. It can also help to have all debts consolidated into one payment rather than scattered throughout multiple credit card payments. However, it is extremely important that the cardholder be aware of the timeline for how long that low or zero percent interest rate will last. These promotional rates will not last forever, and if the debt is still there after the promotional period expires, the cardholder can be stuck with an even higher balance with an even higher interest rate.
Pay Off Credit Cards Through the Debt Avalanche Method
If someone is facing large balances on multiple cards, the thought of ever paying off all of the cards can seem like an impossibility. The best rule of thumb to keep in mind when attacking credit card debt is to tackle one credit card at a time. This process is best done through what is known as the debt avalanche method. How this method works is the debtor lists all of his or her debts from highest interest rate to lowest. The consumer should take the card with the highest balance or the highest interest rate first and pay as much as he or she is able to comfortably pay on that one card, while continuing minimum monthly payments on all others. Keep paying on the first card until it is paid in full. Once the first card is paid, take the payment that was going towards the first card and snowball it into the second card’s payment and so on until all cards are completely paid off. While this method may take some time and discipline, many people have had great success in conquering their debt through this process.
Just because the bill comes once a month does not mean the cardholder is restricted to only paying on the card once a month. One good way of paying down debt is to make multiple payments on the debt throughout the month. It helps to at least pay on them on a biweekly basis, especially if the cardholder is paid every two weeks. As soon as the paycheck is deposited and before the money can be spent, put what can be paid towards the card first before anything else. This method will allow the cardholder to reduce the balance owed quickly and make progress before interest can accrue every month.
Consider filing for bankruptcy.
Many people feel an obligation to pay what they owe, even if they will never be able to pay off the debt. Bankruptcy laws allow individuals to gain a fresh start, so they can take care of themselves and their families. It wipes out all unsecured debts including credit cards, medical bills, personal loans, and more. If you are behind on your mortgage payments, filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can allow you to stay in your home and catch up on your payments or negotiate with your lender. This is all thanks to the automatic stay which immediately goes into effect and prohibits your mortgage lender from foreclosing on your home. Not sure if bankruptcy is right for you, review our 5-Point Checklist.
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.