Authored by Lori Godin in Credit Card
Published on 12-01-2008
Facing credit card debt can be a daunting experience. For the average consumer, minimum payments can be made with ease; but for those facing large amounts of credit card debt that has become unmanageable – it is time to plot a new course of action.
Debt repayment plans allow the debt to be repaid in an organized manner, while protecting the FICO score of the cardholder. It is essential to create a plan that fits into your budget and a plan that the card holder will be able to adhere to, throughout the repayment process.
Here are the five steps to creating a debt repayment plan:
- Write it down. Many people aren’t aware of the debt that they have accumulated until the totals are written in front of them. Write down the total debts that are owing including: credit cards, personal loans, credit lines, vehicle loans and any department store credit cards and well as outstanding and past-due bills.
- Calculate the most expensive debts. This can be done by calculating the interest rate with the amount of debt. Most people are in for a surprise when they calculate the amount that the debt is costing on a monthly basis. Next, the debt should be arranged in a list from most to least expensive.
- Tackle your strategy. There are two methods to debt repayment: repaying the most expensive debt first, or repaying the smallest debt first and making your way towards the largest debt. Repaying the highest debt first will save the consumer money, but repaying the smaller debts will clear debt from the credit report. Determine how much your debt is costing you on a monthly basis – and make a decision.
- Make a budget, and stick to it! The budget must be feasible and should be compared to at least two months worth of previous finances. This budget will ensure that you are able repay the debt, while maintaining fixed expenses such as housing and transportation.
- Stop using credit. Just because you have repaid a credit card in full does not mean that credit card should be used again. Remember, a portion of your credit score is determined by the history of accounts, so think twice about closing the account entirely, if you can exercise the willpower required to stop the credit use.
Using these five steps, creating a debt repayment program should be easy. The plan however, is the easy part. Sticking to the plan requires planning and stamina.