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If you are serious about wanting to pay off your credit cards, you need to start with a plan. When you make a plan, be realistic about how much you can pay. If you can only pay the minimum payments, for now, that’s okay. But if you can pay a little bit extra, dedicate that amount to the debt with the highest interest. Try to focus on that high-interest debt like a laser until you get it wiped out, and then you can move on to the next one.

Use Your Peers for Competition (or Support)

Some people are motivated by trying to outpace everyone else. Other people are motivated by encouragement and collaboration. No matter which one you are, your friends can help you stay motivated to get out of debt. If you like to measure your progress against others, it will be easier to talk about money with your friends and family if you make a competition out of it. How? Make a game out of how much you can save this week. Ask for a few overtime hours at work and compete with your friends on how much extra you can throw at your credit cards this month. Then whoever pays down their balance the most this month will win a cool reward, or at least bragging rights.
On the other hand, if you are more motivated by encouragement, then share your goal with your friends and family and ask them to keep checking in and offering their advice and words of wisdom. You can use their support to keep you on track.

Negotiate a Lower Interest Rate

If you want to see more of your hard-earned money going towards the principal balance and not interest payments, then listen up. Take a quick minute to call your credit card company and ask for a lower rate on your account.

This could potentially save you hundreds of dollars on interest payments and knock months off your debt-free date. Be sincere in your request and kindly ask to have them review your account for an interesting decrease.

What’s the worst thing that could happen? The credit card issuers could decline your request and you’ll transition to another strategy — no harm is done. So why not give it a try?

Carolyn Secor P.A. focuses its practice in the areas of Bankruptcy and Foreclosure Defense in Clearwater, Florida. For more information, go to our web site or call 727-335-7151.