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Credit Card Debt Archives

Debt snowballs and bankruptcy options that might help you

When you are facing mounting debts, paying some of them off might seem like it is impossible. It is understandable that you might want to review some of the ways that you can get out of debt. One of these options is to use the debt snowball payoff method.

Take control of your credit card debt right away

Many people think that if they are swimming in credit card debt that they have to hide that fact and just struggle through trying to pay it off. This isn't necessarily the case. In fact, many people who are struggling with credit card debt are in this boat because of an uncontrollable situation like a major illness or job loss.

What are some drawbacks to secure debt?

Secure debt is any debt that is secured by collateral. Collateral is something that the lender has a right to liquidate to pay off a debt that you do not pay as agreed. If you finance a car purchase, for example, the loan is secured by the car itself. The bank can repossess the car if you don't make your payments, and that's the drawback of this type of debt.

3 ways to keep retail therapy from deepening your debt

Whether retail therapy is a major reason you now find yourself dealing with debt or you simply want to shop to boost your spirit during financial struggles, continued unplanned spending typically makes the situation worse. Retail therapy makes sense: buying something nice or doing something unplanned for yourself boosts endorphins and positive feelings, which can temporarily reduce the impact of stress. The stress always returns, though, which makes retail therapy an expensive long-term solution. Here are three ways to quash your spontaneous spending habits as you work on debt and financial stability.

Your credit card rates could increase and no one has to tell you

The Federal Reserve decided in December to boost interest rates slightly. That could translate to a higher cost of credit, especially for credit card holders who don't pay off their balance each month. With the Fed setting the mood on rate hikes, credit card companies are somewhat free to follow suit, and they don't have to notify you before doing so.

Why you should focus on credit card debt first

If you're trying to get out of debt, many experts note that you need to tackle your credit card debt first. The reasoning here is that cards often have interest rates around 16 percent, which is higher than some of your other loans. If that interest continues to accrue, you wind up further into debt.

Are you falling prey to common credit card myths?

While many debt experts say the best way to live is without credit cards or credit card debt, that's not always a possibility. Plus, you might already have a good bit of credit card debt you're trying to handle, and simply telling you to get rid of it isn't helpful advice. If you're struggling with credit cards or other types of debt so much that you can't make ends meet or worry about putting food on the table, then you might want to consider the merits of bankruptcy.

The way you use credit impacts your credit score

You might think that too many credit cards is bad for your credit score, but that isn't necessarily the case. Your credit score -- and usually your debt load -- often depends more on how you use the credit you have than how much credit is available. In fact, the credit reporting agencies base a lot on how much of your credit you've used -- the estimates are that it accounts for 30 percent or more of your score.

Credit card interest rates rising, probably not going down

Despite past cuts to interest rates by the Federal Reserve, credit card companies have had a history of raising annual percentage rates for years. While the rates don't go down when the Fed lowers its numbers, APRs usually do go up when the Fed raises rates as it did last December.

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