How to pay off credit card debt fast

If you have recognition circuit board debt hang over your head, there are multiple ways to tackle it. The method that ’ s properly for you depends on how much debt you have, your citation history and what will help you stay motivated to keep chipping away at your debt — even if you feel like giving up. column note : Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate affect our editors ’ opinions. Our third-party advertisers don ’ metric ton review, approve or endorse our column content. It ’ second accurate to the best of our cognition when posted .Advertiser Disclosure

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There isn’t one right way to pay off credit card debt, but there are some tried-and-true methods that could help you get your balances to zero.

Those methods fall into two broad categories — either pay up off each debt individually or consolidate all of your debts into a unmarried monthly payment .
Let ’ s take a look at four democratic strategies for paying down credit card debt, along with the pros and cons of each, to help you decide which choice is best for you .
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1. Debt snowball method

The snowball method acting is a debt-repayment scheme that focuses on paying down the account with the lowest balance first. As you direct your larger payments toward that libra, you continue to make the minimal payments on your other accounts so you don ’ t end up paying late fees, hurting your recognition or even defaulting .
To get started, list your account balances in order from lowest to highest. Set up your budget to pay the minimum on all your credit card accounts except the one with the smallest balance. For that balance, put as a lot extra money as you can toward paying it off each calendar month .
When the proportion on that account is zero, put the money you were using to pay it off toward the account with the next-lowest libra. Continue until all your credit circuit board balances have been paid in full .
Say you have three credit cards with balances of $ 700, $ 1,500 and $ 4,000. With the snowball method acting, you ’ five hundred pay off the batting order with the $ 700 libra first. then you ’ vitamin d affect on to the card with the $ 1,500 balance, and you ’ vitamin d pay off the one with the $ 4,000 balance wheel last .


The debt snowball method is effective because you ’ ll probably attend build up quickly. When you get a few quick wins under your belt, you build momentum. This can help you stay motivated to continue working toward your goal of becoming debt-free. Plus, fewer outstanding balances may make the process seem less overpower .


The snowball method acting doesn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate take into account the concern you ’ re being charged. If your larger debts are besides the ones with the highest matter to rates, you may pay more in interest using the snowball method than you would with another debt-repayment scheme .
so if your goal is to minimize your sake payments while paying down debt, another refund method acting may be a better choice .

2. Debt avalanche method

When you use the debt avalanche method, you focus payments on high-interest debts inaugural, while making the minimum payments on the rest of your accounts .
When the account with the highest interest pace is paid off, put the money you ’ vitamin d allocated for it toward the debt with the next-highest matter to rate. Repeat the process as many times as necessity until all your credit cards have been paid off .
Say you have three credit cards with APRs of 22 %, 18 % and 12 %. With the avalanche method, you ’ vitamin d pay off the card with the 22 % APR beginning. then you ’ five hundred move on to the card with the 18 % APR, and you ’ five hundred pay off the one with the 12 % APR stopping point .


The biggest advantage of the debt avalanche method is the possibility of saving on interest charges. If you ’ re concerned about how much sake you ’ ll rack up while paying down your debt, this method acting may be a good strategy for you.


A debt-repayment strategy that helps you save money may be appealing. But if your bill with the highest matter to rate besides has a large balance, it may take a while to pay it off. And that can work against you in your pursuit to become debt-free because it may be psychologically demoralizing .
Say you have a $ 5,000 balance on a tease with an APR of 22 %. If you pay $ 300 a calendar month to that history, it will take 21 months to pay it off — deoxyadenosine monophosphate farseeing as you don ’ metric ton use the batting order to buy anything else .
Two years is a long time to wait to eliminate your first debt. With the avalanche method acting, you may not get those flying wins that help create a sense of skill. So it ’ randomness easy to get discouraged and suffer motivation to keep moving ahead .
If you need to see build up promptly to stay motivated, the debt snowball may be a better strategy .

3. Credit card consolidation loan

personal loans that are used for debt consolidation combine multiple report balances into one loan with a individual monthly payment — ideally with a lower concern rate. You use the funds from the loanword to pay off your recognition menu balances, then make the requital on the personal loanword each calendar month .


Credit circuit board pastime rates are often higher than rates charged on personal loans, particularly if you have adept credit. If you qualify, you may be able to get a lower rate on a debt-consolidation loanword than what the credit card companies are charging .
Plus, a debt-consolidation lend can help simplify your finances. rather of making multiple payments each month, you need to make only one for all the consolidated debts .
besides, some debt-consolidation loans offer compromising repayment terms, so you can select the one that fits your budget. And some lenders will send the loan payment directly to your creditors, so a debt-consolidation lend can be a convenient choice for paying off your credit cards .


You must meet the lender ’ s eligibility requirements to qualify for a debt-consolidation lend. If your credit history has a few dings, you may not be able to get a lend. Or you may only qualify for an interest rate that ’ s similar to what you ’ ra paying on your credit cards .
There ’ s the potential that you may not qualify for a loanword large enough to cover the debts you want to consolidate, which means you ’ d only be able to consolidate part of your debts and would silent have multiple payments to different lenders .
besides, some lenders charge fees that add to the price of the loanword and eat into your funds .
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4. Balance transfer credit card

A balance wheel transfer citation card could let you transfer balances from one or more accounts to a unlike card. typically, these credit cards have 0 % introductory balance wheel transfer APR offers if you transfer the balance within a certain sum of meter after opening the account .


If you pay off your balance wheel before the presentation period ends, you can avoid paying sake. Knowing you have a restrict sum of clock time before the intro offer expires may help motivate you to pay down your debt quickly .


Paying off your debt interest-free may seem like the best choice of all, but if you make your payments deep, your introductory offer could be revoked. Plus, the promotional menstruation is limited — and if you have a balance when it ends, your explanation will accrue interest at the calling card ’ s regular balance transfer APR .
besides, you may be charged a balance transmit fee when you transfer balances from other cards, and you can only transfer balances up to the citation specify you ’ ve been offered on the poster. If the measure of debt you have is higher than the circuit board ’ second terminus ad quem, this requital scheme may be not be the best option for you. besides, even if you can transfer your stallion balance, it may be bad for your credit rating scores if the sum you owe is near your limit on your new balance transfer card. So you ’ ll need to watch out for that, excessively .

Next steps

If you ’ rhenium tired of living with debt, here are a few simple steps that can help you get started on your debt-repayment travel.

  1. Decide which debt-repayment method is best for you.
  2. Establish a budget to determine how much money you’ll allocate to repaying debt each month. A debt repayment calculator can help you plan your payments.
  3. Eliminate or reduce as many expenses as possible until you’re debt-free.
  4. Look for ways to generate additional income — like taking on a second job or selling some of your possessions — to pay off your debt faster.
  5. Avoid using credit cards until you’ve paid all your balances in full.

Paying off recognition card debt requires patience and continuity. If you don ’ t want to go it alone and think having some supernumerary guidance will improve your chances of success, consider working with a nonprofit credit rating counseling organization .
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About the author: Jennifer Brozic is a freelance financial services writer with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in communication management from Towson University. She’s committed… Jennifer Brozic is a mercenary fiscal services writer with a bachelor ’ s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland and a master ’ s degree in communication management from Towson University. She ’ south committed… Read more.

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