Get a cold, clammy feeling when you think of your credit card bills? If so, you are not alone. 40% of Americans carry credit card debt, and the average balance is $5,700. If we exclude people who pay their balances in full every month, the average debt is $9,333. Profuse anxiety is only one sign that you may have bitten off a bigger bite of plastic than you can chew. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you are in over your head.
- Do you avoid creditors by not answering the phone?
- Do you ignore bills by stuffing them into a pile or box unopened?
- Do you pay for other charge cards, food, or utilities with cash advances or credit?
- Is more than 20% of your net income committed to revolving debt payments?
- Do you regularly bounce checks?
- Have any creditors closed your accounts?
- Do you skip certain bills every month?
- Do you make only minimum payments on credit cards while continuing to incur charges?
An affirmative response to any of these questions may indicate credit over-extension. Stagnant debts, high-interest rates, and punitive finance charges can quickly supersede the benefits of credit. Experts suggest breaking the cycle of debt by reviewing your monthly spending plan followed by adjusting your expenses and/or increasing your income. Increasing your payments and requesting interest rate reductions can help accelerate your payoff time. Most importantly, if your debt is unmanageable, stop adding new charges to your card immediately. Feeling overwhelmed by credit card debt is natural, but with commitment and a step-by-step approach you can turn crisis into conquest.
One great way to pay down debt faster is a consolidation loan or get a SkyOne credit card and transfer balances to 0% APR for 12 months (a 3% balance transfer fee applies). Click here to choose a card and apply today. The sooner you apply, the faster you can reduce stress and pay down debt.