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  • Writer's pictureDaniel Rodriguez

5 tips for dealing with credit card debt

  1. If you have multiple accounts, stop using all your credit cards but one. Don't cancel the others for now, just stop using them.

  2. If you can afford to pay off your balances but feel overwhelmed, try the "snowball method." Make a list of your balances and pick out the smallest one. Pay that one off, then move on to the next-smallest debt. Many people find the snowball method helps them build momentum to work on their larger debts. An alternative is the "avalanche method," which works the opposite way by focusing on paying off the biggest debts first.

  3. Call your credit card company. They may be willing to reduce your interest rate or even forgive some of the balance in exchange for promised repayment. However, they might also refuse.

  4. If you qualify, taking out a relatively low-interest loan to pay off your credit cards can save you money. Often, this means borrowing against the equity in your home, which is not an option if you don't own your home. You could also lose your home if you cannot keep up with the payments.

  5. If your debts are too large or growing too fast for relatively minor fixes like these, declaring bankruptcy could be your best option for relief. Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy are there to help you break out of the cycle of credit card debt and give yourself and your family a fresh start. Everyone's debt problems are different and require different solutions. Knowing which options are available to you can help you choose the one that best fits your situation.

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