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Two women discuss a new credit card purchase after paying off their credit cards faster.
It can be easy to push aside credit card debt and pretend it doesn’t exist – but facing credit card debt head-on is the best way to truly tackle it. If you’re wondering how to pay off credit card debt fast, our guide is here to give you eight simple tools to get your finances under control. Knowing some tricks to pay off your credit cards will help you pay down your debt and then use your card wisely so you can focus on your other financial goals! 

Pay More Than the Minimum

Minimum monthly repayments tend to be set at very low levels. These are sometimes as low as 1% plus any fees, interest, and charges. If you only make the minimum repayment, your debt could take decades to pay off and you could pay significantly more than you need to in interest.
  • Aim to pay off the entire bill each month so you won’t pay any interest at all. 
  • Try to find other sources of funds to pay off your balance, like a tax refund, a bonus from work, or any additional income.
  • Work out a repayment plan and pay off as much as you can each month. 
  • Avoid using your credit cards for new purchases and cash withdrawals.

Do a Balance Transfer 

Making timely payments on your credit cards is important. If you can’t pay the balance in full each month and can only make minimum payments, you could benefit from switching to a low or 0% interest rate card.  Keep in mind that many 0% or low-interest offers may only last for a limited time. After the introductory period, the interest rate and payment could increase.  If you’re unsure if a balance transfer is a good way to pay off your credit card debt, read our Smart Guide to Credit Cards to help you decide!  

Negotiate Your Interest Rate

Call your credit card issuer and ask if you can lower your interest rate. Negotiating your rate is a simple trick to pay off credit cards faster and has no impact on your credit score. Asking for a more competitive rate comes without risk!  Before the call, have a list of talking points ready to ensure the conversation runs smoothly. Mention things like:
  • Your record of making your payments on time
  • How long you’ve had the credit card
  • If you usually make more than the minimum payment
  • Your credit score (if it’s good!)

Aim to Use Your Debit Card

Paying off your credit card debt is difficult when you’re continually adding to it. While you’re chipping away at your debt with a credit card payoff plan, try to make use of your debit cards versus using credit. This way, you won’t be canceling out your payments by spending more money on your credit card every month. Challenge yourself to use cash or your debit card for purchases. The action of handing over cash or seeing a balance decline on your debit card is different from a quick swipe of your credit card. You’ll think twice and be more conscious of your purchases.  Instead of relying on credit to boost your purchasing power, you can simply use your credit card to build your credit and maintain a good score! 

Use the Snowball or Avalanche Method

There are two popular tricks for paying off multiple credit cards and you can choose the one that works for you.  The Snowball Method builds momentum by focusing on the card with the lowest balance first: 
  • Each month, pay the minimum amount due on all your cards. 
  • Put any extra funds onto the card with the lowest balance until it’s paid off in full. 
  • Then focus on the card with the next lowest balance.
The Avalanche Method focuses on paying off the card with the highest APR first:
  • Each month, pay the minimum amount due on all your cards. 
  • Put any extra funds onto the card with the highest rate until it’s paid off in full.
  • Then focus on the card with the next highest APR.

Budget Quarterly vs. Monthly

You may feel overwhelmed if you focus on your total credit card debt and it might seem like your monthly payments aren’t making a difference. You may feel disappointed if you miss a target. Instead, try a quarterly breakdown of how much you want to pay off.  That way, you can adjust your payments as needed and if something comes up one month that leads you to pay less than you planned, you still have a chance to meet your quarterly goal. 

Prioritize Payments in Your Budget

As your wants and needs change, your monthly budget changes accordingly. But the most efficient way to pay off your credit card is to use Auto Pay to schedule your payments so the money comes out of your checking account before you consider your other needs and wants.  Inconsistent payment history can quickly tank your credit. Consider breaking your credit card payment into two monthly installments so each payment is smaller but you pay more in total.

Transfer Your Balance with Bowater!

So now you know our tricks to paying off credit cards fast, but you might be wondering where to start. Bowater balance transfers offer a competitive fixed rate, no fees, and a free VISA credit card. If you’re ready to make the move and get yourself out of credit card debt, click below to learn more about how a balance transfer can save you money as you pay down your credit cards.