Debts are a reality of the millennial lifestyle. They can accumulate on account of emergencies such as medical expenses and paying off high-interest credit cards, or they can come from living beyond your means. The good news is that you have options for dealing with them.
Moreover, you can also seek help from a reputed Canadian lender like Alpine Credits, who can assist you in dealing with multiple credit card debts one way or another.
Things to take into account when dealing with multiple credit cards
There are many reasons why you may have multiple credit cards. Nonetheless, most Canadians admit to dealing with multiple credit card debts. There are several things to take into account when dealing with your multiple credit cards, some of which include:
- Create a plan for how you will reduce your debt
- Consider a debt consolidation loan or personal loan
- Avoid using cash advances
- Negotiate with your credit card provider
- Consider bankruptcy as a last resort
What are the best ways to deal with multiple credit card debts?
Multiple credit card payments can take a massive toll on your finances. The worst part is that it will take an absurdly long time to completely pay off your credit card debt, even if you regularly pay the minimum monthly dues.
However, the following simple steps will help you get back on track.
1. Consolidate your credit card debts
If you have multiple credit card debts, you may want to consider consolidating them into one larger debt with a lower APR. It is the traditional way to deal with multiple credit card debts and is an option for those who cannot pay off their debt in the foreseeable future.
2. Get a personal loan
One option for getting out of debt is to take out a personal loan. A personal loan can offer you the opportunity to consolidate all your credit card debts into a single monthly payment.
The interest rates on these loans are slightly higher than what you’d see on a credit card, but if you have a low enough credit score, it might be your fastest bet for getting out of debt.
3. Consult a credit counsellor
If you need help dealing with your credit card debt, a credit counsellor can be of great help.
A counsellor will work with you to create a plan that fits your financial situation and helps you create a budget. They can also help negotiate lower interest rates and higher credit limits on your behalf.
4. Stop using credit cards altogether
One of the simplest strategies to get out of debt is to stop using your credit cards at all. If you’re carrying a high-interest balance, stopping the flow of debt will save you money in interest and help you get out of debt more quickly.
5. Cut up your credit cards
You may be tempted to just transfer your debt from one credit card to another. However, refrain from doing so.
Transferring debt from one card to another is like taking a small loan out of your credit card. The interest rates on those loans are high, and you’ll end up getting deeper into debt.
To avoid that, cut up your credit cards and close the account. It will allow you to monitor how much you’re spending more closely.
6. Negotiate with your credit card issuers
It’s likely that when it comes to paying off credit card debt, you’ll wind up spending more money toward interest charges than the actual sum or principal. This is naturally aggravating, and it might make you feel like you’re stuck.
You can call your credit card issuers and explain your circumstances and request a lower interest rate, even if it’s only temporary.
There’s no guarantee they’ll answer yes, but if you constantly skip paying even the minimum dues, the chances are that your issuer may convert your outstanding amount into a loan. The loan will have a fixed tenure (generally 6 to 12 months) and a fixed interest rate.
Now, this may not seem like an immediate solution, but it can save you a lot of money on the interest payable otherwise.
How to plan your debts
- You can start by creating a list of all your debts, from the smallest to the largest. It will help you see what needs to be paid off first.
- Then, calculate how much you can afford to pay each month and assign this amount to the smallest debt on your list.
- Once it’s paid off, put that money toward paying off the next smallest one.
- If you have extra money left after all the debts are paid off, put it into savings or invest it in your retirement account.
Debt consolidation loan or personal loan?
If you have multiple debts, it’s hard to know the best solution. You might be considering a debt consolidation loan or taking out a personal loan. However, the right choice will depend on your situation.
One potential avenue is to consolidate your credit card debts with a debt consolidation loan backed by your house or car. That means you have collateral, strengthening the lender’s position if you default on the debt. In addition, this category of loan typically has an interest rate lower than most credit cards.
Personal loans are also a good option for consolidating your multiple credit cards if you don’t like the idea of using your home as collateral.
However, it’s important to note that the interest rates for these loans are typically higher than those for debt consolidation loans and might vary depending on the lender and your credit score.
Debt consolidation is not a quick fix for getting rid of all of your debts, but it can help you get back on track.
If you find yourself with more than one credit card, it can be tempting to use each card for different purchases to get the best deals. But this strategy can backfire and create a financial mess and often lead to more debt.
It’s essential to determine which cards you can afford to pay off and which ones you need to prioritize.