20 Feb 2018

If you’re in need of a lifeline to help tackle your credit card debt, we have some useful tips to help you get back on top of your finances.

In the wake of the holiday season, data released from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has revealed that Australian credit card holders collectively owe a whopping $30 billion following rampant spending over the festive period. The research suggests the average credit card user will need to fork out around $3,679 to repay debt accumulated in December alone, not to mention the added financial burden that back-to-school brings around the January / February period.

If you’re in need of a lifeline to help tackle your credit card debt, we have some useful tips to help you get back on top of your finances.

1. Pay more than the minimum

Most lenders set the minimum repayment amount at 2-3% of the balance, which equates to very little. Paying off a little more each month will see the balance shrink faster.

2. Pay off one card at a time

If you have multiple cards, the most effective strategy is to focus on paying down one at a time. You should generally look at paying the card with the highest interest rate or the smallest balance first. Once a card is paid, close the account or remove it from your wallet and work on the next card.

3. Enlist the help of your savings

Although it may seem like a difficult decision to make, using your savings to pay off a credit card balance could be a worthwhile consideration. The interest earned on those savings is likely to be much less than that being paid on the credit card.

4. Prepare a budget

Take the time to examine your spending and look for unnecessary expenses or areas that could be trimmed. It may also be a good time to revisit some of your insurance, phone or utility providers and see if a better deal is available to help reduce your outgoings.

5. Look at a balance transfer

There are many lenders that offer deals on balance transfers, namely in the form of a low introductory rate. Some rates can be as low as 0% for the first 12 months. Tread carefully, as after the introductory period ends the card will often revert to a higher than average rate, so it’s imperative to check the terms and conditions carefully.

6. Choose a low rate card

Interest rates vary considerably on different credit card products, so do your research before taking out a card. Alternatively, shop around for a low rate card to do a balance transfer to if your rate is high.

7. Consolidate your credit card into your mortgage

If you want to clear the slate and get serious about wiping your credit cards fast, debt consolidation within your home loan may be an option. The team at Blackburne Mortgage Broking will be able to guide you through several options and ensure that your home loan is competitive in the current market. Along with providing you with additional tips on how to pay off your loan quicker and easier.

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