Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Then again, once you have your fair share, you’ll likely wish you were never introduced to these all too easy to slide pieces of plastic.is nothing new in the United States. Balances across the country are growing at a brisk pace, totalling $1.03 trillion according to the
You’ve decided you’re done. You’re ready to say goodbye to credit card debt for good.
That’s great news, but there’s one problem. High interest rates make it difficult to pay these revolving debts off. As such, minimum payments seem like nothing more than a forever debt trap. So, what do you do if you have five digits in credit card debt and need to get rid of it fast?
4 ways to pay off $15,000 in credit card debt fast
Sure, $15,000 in credit card debt can be intimidating, but it’s not the end of the world. The fact is that with the right plan and a bit of discipline, your debt can be behind you before you know it. Here are four ways you can pay off $15,000 in credit card debt quickly.
Take advantage of debt relief programs
If you’re having a hard time making your monthly minimum payments and your debts seem to be at a standstill, it’s likely time to reach out to a. Debt relief companies are skilled at ensuring that you pay the lowest interest rate possible and build payment plans that fit well within your budget. When you sign up, you’ll generally take part in one of three programs:
- Debt consolidation loan: Debt consolidation loans are personal loans issued for the purpose of paying off high-interest debt. They not only reduce your overall interest, they offer a fixed payment plan and clear path to payoff.
- Debt consolidation program: With , professionals negotiate your interest rates on your behalf. You’ll make a single payment to the program and they disburse that payment to your creditors.
- Debt settlement program: Debt settlement involves negotiating your principal balance on your credit cards. This alleviates the pain associated with interest rates and greatly reduces the amount of money you owe.
Use a home equity loan to cut the cost of interest
“Similar to a debt consolidation loan,” says Shane Cummings, CFP, CEPA, AIF, Wealth Advisor and the Director of Technology/Cybersecurity at Halbert Hargrove, home equity loans allow you to “borrow at a lower interest rate to pay off higher interest rate loans.”
This is a compelling.
“For example, you have credit card debt at 20% that is incurring interest faster than it can be paid off and you can borrow against home equity at a lower rate,” says Shane, “that would provide an opportunity for you to incur less in interest charges and pay that debt down faster.”
Use a 401k loan
Your 401k may be your key to debt relief as well. That is, as long as you’ve built up enough value in it. In most cases, you can borrow up to the lesser of 50% of your 401k’s value or $50,000, which you could then use to pay off your credit card debt.
“The interest rate on the 401k loan would typically be significantly lower than credit card interest rates,” says Brian Martin, Wealth Manager at Merit Financial Advisors. “Plus, you would have a built-in payoff plan through your payroll and be paying yourself back with interest.”
So, not only can a 401k loan help you consolidate your debts and reduce your payments, it could be beneficial for your retirement in the long run.
Take advantage of balance transfer credit cards with promotional interest rates
“Consider consolidating multiple credit card debts into one that has the lowest interest expense,” explains Martin. You could also transfer balances to “a new credit card if a better short-term interest rate is available.”
He went on to explain that “credit card interest expenses can be a huge detriment to how far your monthly dollars can go.” So, it’s best to “try to minimize this expense where you can.”
are often an effective way to do that. Many of them come with low or no interest for a year or longer. Though, once the promotional period expires, you will be charged the standard interest rate for the card on any remaining debt. So, it’s best to pay the debt off during the promotional period.
If you’re unable to do so, be sure you know what the standard rate for the card is and have a plan for addressing your debts once the promotional period expires.
The bottom line
$15,000 can be an intimidating total when you see it on credit card statements, but you don’t have to be in debt forever. If you’re struggling to make your minimum payments every month and you don’t see light at the end of the tunnel, sign up for a debt management program to get out of debt fast.