Have you ever received your credit card statement and felt a little anxious when you saw the bill? Maybe you spent a little more than anticipated during the holiday season or went over budget on vacation? Credit card debt can quickly add up and if you’ve found yourself facing a large balance, you’re probably looking for ways to pay it down fast. Recent data shows that the average American consumer is carrying between $5,000 – $7,000 in credit card debt, so it’s important to have a plan for tackling debt to focus on other financial goals you have in mind.
Here are some tips from your friends at Michigan Schools and Government Credit Union:
Make smart payments.
Pay more than the minimum payment to avoid accumulating a lot of interest on your credit card. If you only pay the minimum balance, you’ll carry larger balances month-to-month and accrue additional interest charges that you’re responsible for paying back. You can also use the avalanche method, which is paying off high-interest rate debt first, or the snowball method, where you pay off the smallest credit card balances first, then work on the larger ones. Read more about overcoming debt in this blog post.
Create a budget.
Don’t spend more than you can afford and only charge what you know you can reasonably pay back. A good way to do this is by establishing a budget and sticking to it. You are welcome to stop in any MSGCU branch office and our team members or certified financial counselors are happy to help you create a budget and discuss your financial goals. You can also check out this 5-minute interactive lesson to help you get started.
Explore your options.
Connect with your credit union or bank to discuss other financial solutions that provide lower interest rates and support you in paying off higher interest credit card debt. At MSGCU, members can consolidate higher interest debt with a few different loan options, such as a personal loan or home equity loan. Consolidating debt into one low monthly payment through a lower interest rate loan may also be more manageable than a credit card payment with a very high interest rate.
It's also worth looking into transferring high-interest credit card debt to low-interest rate solutions like the fixed-rate Titanium Visa Credit Card from MSGCU. “This card greatly benefits our members when interest rates are changing frequently and rising. The rate for this card doesn’t fluctuate and we offer as low as 9.75% APR,* which is especially low when compared to the national average of over 20% APR. We always encourage members to check the rates on their credit card statements and contact MSGCU to see if we can save you money through a lower rate option,” said Jeff Hopson, Assistant Vice President of Retail Services at MSGCU.
Additional perks for MSGCU’s Titanium Visa include no balance transfer fees, annual fees, or cash advance fees. Learn more about the Titanium Visa Credit Card and apply today. If you apply in a branch office and are approved, the card is issued instantly so you can begin taking advantage of the benefits right away.
Reach out for help.
Finally, our most important tip is to never feel shy about asking for our help. MSGCU is here to champion your financial success.
MSGCU has helped many members find solutions to pay off high interest debt. We’re happy to assist with developing a plan to manage your finances and help alleviate the stress that often comes when dealing with debt. Contact us or schedule an appointment online to meet with a team member at a local branch office.
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