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Guide to becoming debt-free
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- Simple guide - steps to take
- Be motivated to WANT to pay it off
- Compare different scenarios
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According to The Money Charity statistics the average household in the UK owed £2595 on credit cards as of January 2020, so if you are worried about how to pay off credit card debt, you are not alone.
Credit card and store card debt is one of the biggest problems, simply because it’s so easily available and it seems acceptable because so many other people are affected too.
However, credit card and store card debts are crippling many families. The minimum payment trap means that many people will never pay off this type of debt. Imagine that you have £2,000 on a credit card, with a typical APR of around 18%, and you don't spend another penny on it. If you only pay minimum payments each month, it will take you over 26 years to pay off that credit card bill!
Yep – 26 YEARS!
You might be thinking that all is good if you are able to make minimum payments. BUT IT IS NOT!
If you continue to spend on a credit card, and only pay minimum payments, YOU WILL NEVER PAY THAT CARD OFF.
On a typical credit card, the minimum payment on a balance of around £2000 is £36. However, the estimated interest for the next month would be £35.24. If you pay the minimum payment, then you are only paying 76p off the credit card balance, because the remaining £35.24 will go on interest!
Over the 26 years, it will take to pay it off, it will cost you nearly £3000 in interest!
Avoid minimum payments
Escaping this minimum payment trap can make all the difference to getting on top of your debt.
If you make a fixed payment of £60 per month to your credit card, then the £2000 will be paid off in just under 4 years, saving you over £2000 in interest.
Upping this to £100 per month would see you debt free in just 2 years, saving you over £2,500 in interest.
Pay off credit card debt more quickly
If you feel that you can manage your debts yourself, then a method called snowballing might really help you. The idea of snowballing is that you pay your debts off in a specific order, and have a step-by-step plan to follow.
There are 2 ways of doing it:
Option 1 – Pay the debts in order, starting with the ones with the highest interest
Option 2 – Pay the debts in order, starting with the smallest debt first
You can decide which option suits you best.
Paying the ones with the highest interest first makes the most financial sense because it is the cheapest way to do it. However, paying the smallest ones first might feel more motivating, because instead of having 5 debts to pay, you will only have 4, then 3. This method often works better for people who have debts, because it can feel like you are paying it off more quickly.
Where should I start?
Paying off debt means that you can start planning to spend that money on things that you will really LOVE.
My free guide "A practical guide to becoming debt-free" will help you to:
- be excited about your future
- take control of your situation
- plan your debt-free day
- see how different your life can be
Download it today and get started right away.
You should go to whatsthecost.com/snowball and enter your details. The calculator will work out how much you should pay to each card and will tell you when your debt-free day will be.
Anything else that would help?
Another thing that you should do is check Money Saving Experts Soft Search calculator to see if you can switch any of your debts to 0% interest. If you are successful with this, then you go back to the snowball calculator and see what a difference that will make to your debt-free day. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised!
Come along and join my Your Money Sorted group where you will be offered free help and support to get your debt paid off, as well as lots of other information to help you to become happier, healthier and wealthier.
Hi, I’m Eileen Adamson, Your Money Sorted coach, empowering professional women to become happier, healthier and wealthier. By showing you how to make small, sustainable changes, I can help you create the financial security and freedom you deserve.