Paying off debt is a lot like many other things in life.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and once you’ve got a plan, you’re halfway there.
Each of us has different ways of thinking, so it’s important to figure out a scheme you can realistically stick with.
There is no hard and fast answer to the question; how to pay off credit cards as quickly as possible?
It’s a case of identifying your own quickest route to financial success.
Part of that process is figuring out what’s going to be your motivation.
You’ll also need to be honest with yourself about what your strengths and weaknesses are.
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Winning the War Against Credit Card Debt: Motivation and morale
Credit cards cost Canadians many, many billions each year.
There are two ways to look at what your credit cards currently cost you.
It can either be a mountain you need to climb, or a vacation by the beach.
By that, I mean what you currently spend on your credit card debt can also represent your reward – if you can manage to pay it off as quickly as possible.
Try to think of your glass as half full, not half empty.
The best way to set yourself up for success is to visualize where you want to be in the future.
If that happens to be the beach, then so be it – let’s go to the beach.
Every credit card you’re servicing represents a potential cash windfall – if you begin to do the right things and make appropriate sacrifices.
Sure, it’s not like winning the lottery – but it’s still a significant amount of money in your pocket, and paying off your debt will be almost as satisfying as watching your numbers come up.
When you sit down and assess your debt situation, think ahead and stay focused on whatever goal floats your particular boat.
If for you, that isn’t the beach – it might mean all the everyday things you’ll be able to afford again when you emerge from debt.
Whatever your ideal reward, everybody performs better when motivated.
Give yourself a reason to fight back.
Beating Credit Card Debt: Financing the fight
Most battles get won in the head.
If you’ve got the right attitude and motivation, and you’re confident you’ve identified the right strategy, you’re three quarters of the way there.
Heading into any fight with doubts isn’t going to get the job done.
You’ll need the right tactics and resources to succeed.
Part of that plan is knowing you can realistically afford to follow it through.
You’ll need to carefully work out what you can commit to paying down debt each month.
Don’t over-extend your finances.
Keep everything sensible and set achievable goals – so as not to diminish your morale.
How to pay off credit cards as quickly as possible and figuring out the right plan
Once you’ve figured out what motivates you and how you will afford it, you’re ready to tackle your credit card demons.
Now is the time to develop your tactics – because every successful campaign starts with a masterplan.
If you’re going to do this thing right, it needs to be a plan that suits your unique way of thinking and your strengths.
There’s no use setting yourself targets you are going to find hard to achieve.
Choose your weapons wisely and decide where and when to stand your ground.
Win enough battles, and you’ll probably ultimately win the war against credit card debt too.
Again, the choices you make will get based on your capabilities and personality.
Let’s look at two methods for paying off credit card debt that will appeal in varying degrees to various people:
- The Top Down Method
Paying off your cards from the top down is perhaps not a method for the faint hearted, but it will bring more significant rewards sooner, so it’s well worth considering. The plan here is simple. All you need to do is take out the biggest guy first.
- Make a list of all your credit cards and their respective balances, make the highest card public enemy number one, the next public enemy number two, and so on
- Make minimum monthly payments on all the other cards. Then use everything left in your monthly budget to pay off a chunk of number one
- Keep doing that every month until your largest debt gets paid, and then move on to number two. Eventually, you’ll pay everything off
- Going Bottoms Up
Going bottoms up is just like tackling your cards top down, but backwards. You list out your cards in the same way, but pay the balance of the smallest first. The biggest advantage of going top down is that as you progress through the cards, things should get quicker. However, that method will take a while before you see the first balance completely paid off. If you want to ease yourself gently into the fight against credit card debt, consider picking off the smaller guys first – one by one.
- Make a list of all your credit cards and their respective balances. Call the card with the lowest balance number one, the next lowest number two, and so on
- Make minimum monthly payments on all the other cards except number one. Then put everything remaining in your monthly budget into paying off number one
- Repeat a payment every month until your smallest balance is gone, and then move on to the rest, one by one
Ready to take on your own credit card debt? Give us a call for advice
Whichever way you choose to fight the battle against credit card debt, you don’t need to do it alone.
While taking any action is a positive thing, resources exist to support you if you need them to pay off credit cards as quickly as possible.
At BankruptcyCanada, we’ve helped thousands of people develop strategies to deal with many types of debt, and we’re only a phone call away.
If you’re in a fight against mounting debt, give us a call on (877) 879-4770 (24/7), and we’ll be happy to get right behind you.