06 Nov Payoff High Interest Credit Cards In 7 Easy Steps
Here are seven easy steps to pay off high interest rate credit cards. In fact these tips show you how to eliminate high interest accounts entirely and how to perform simple regular maintenance adjustments to keep your credit accounts within reasonable limits.
1. Fingerprint your credit cards. On a simple word document or piece of paper list each card by name, redacted account number [last 4 digits], credit limit, balance and interest rate. On the next line list the telephone number of the customer service department so you can obtain account balance information and discuss account terms. On the third line list the minimum balance due and the due date. This information becomes your handy dandy credit card fingerprint. It gives you a mugshot of your available credit, your total debt, the interest rate charged to each account and your next payment due information.
Whenever you need to check your account information, call the toll-free number listed by each account. Credit card companies still provide customer service for free, so take advantage of one of the only free services offered by these banks to save you money.
2. Make a minimum payment on each card and on time so you do not incur late fees. After you make that payment delete or zero out the minimum balance so you know you have paid that card for the month. If you use your card for ordinary everyday purchases, keep your receipt and make a payment for the new amount charged as soon as you can. This way you reduce the chance that your next statement will be higher than the last one.
3.Pay extra money to high balance cards first so your monthly finance charges will be averaged more toward the lower interest rate cards. This will reduce the amount of the finance charge added to your accounts each month.
4. Call the handy customer service number and request a lower interest rate on each card. Keep the discussion friendly but point out you can get a lower rate at your local credit union. A lower rate reduces the finance charge added to your balance each month.
5. Call your friendly customer service representative again and request a larger available credit balance. This helps increase your debt-to-credit ratio, and in turn, boosts your credit score. This also helps you avoid incurring penalty fees for going over the available credit limit on maxed out cards.
6. Close high interest rate cards and look for new lower interest cards. Affinity cards and reward cards generally charge a higher interest rate than a plain generic card. Look to your local bank or credit union and compare rates. As soon as possible stop using or close those accounts that have refused to lower your rate.
7. Each month, update your credit card fingerprint with new information as soon as you receive your new statement.
Repeat the above steps until you have zero balance low interest rate accounts that you are able to pay off in full each month.
Andy Miofsky, Esq.
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