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Level 7

HELP! I'm struggling to keep up with my credit card payments

Not sure if you've found a solution that is working for you yet, but I hope you didn't close your accounts! Credit history is a factor in determining your credit score and unless your cards have annual fees attached to them, it will only hurt you to close the cards. Refrain from using them as much as possible until you can get the debt under control, but don't close them if you don't have to.

Depending on your creditworthiness, I would consider a personal loan to consolidate your cards. Chances are the interest will be less than what you have with your cards & it's easier to see exactly what you'll be paying monthly & total (opposed to the CC's which compound interest daily) You can run pre-approvals on most loan websites (Discover, Payoff, Best Egg, Marcus, to name a few). You WILL deal with spam from them, but you can also see what they can offer you without a ding to your credit before your official application.

Work out how much you owe total, what you're currently paying for all payments monthly, and what you can afford to pay monthly. Try to find a loan that matches up with those numbers. You might need to do a little finagling to get it just right. Match your monthly payment to what you're already paying monthly for the cards you want to pay off. Extend your loan term for the longest possible.

Once you pay off your credit cards your score will jump & you can always apply for a different loan with better terms after your score jumps. From that point, use cards minimally and only what you can pay off monthly. Don't make big purchases until you have cash saved up to pay off the bill immediately. Assign a recurring payment to each of your cards (Netflix on one card, gas on another, gym membership to a third) to keep them active. Take cards you don't need daily and put them in a drawer. Carry around a card for gas & food only & then just try to be as disciplined as you can with them.

From personal experience, I was in a similar situation. Between a 0% interest balance transfer card, and a personal loan from Discover I was able to consolidate $15,000 in credit card debt. Two months after my score jumped (from 680 to 720) I applied for a new loan with my credit union at better terms (from 19% to 10%), resulting in a much smaller payment. When I over extend myself for the month, I borrow from my savings (which I have a bit of now that I'm not drowning in CC debt) to pay off the statement balance in full, then I pay myself back slowly at 0% interest. I still have the debt, but it's easier to handle. All of that to say it CAN be done.

Best of luck.
Level 7

HELP! I'm struggling to keep up with my credit card payments

Don't do this. You need credit card history to build credit. Unless you are paying annual fees on your cards, don't close them.
Level 6

HELP! I'm struggling to keep up with my credit card payments

Hi,
I’m 25yrs with no kids, 2 car payments (I live in New Jersey) and recently married. (Everyone situation is different). I started 2018 with a brand new job but 12k in credit card debt with high interest rates & 3k in medical and zero savings. I’m ending 2018 with 10k in liquid cash and 4K in 401k and 3k in individual investment account. Here’s how I did it. I downloaded mint in January and it showed me my spending pattern and my financial status. I created a budget and cut my spending by 50% I was spending way to much on food almost as much as my rent. So, I started cooking and food prep every week. I’m now sepending only $300+ per month on food. And I’m also a bodybuilder so no I don’t starve myself. My wife and I split the rent and I pay for everything else. One job wasn’t cutting it so I got a second job in April. The second job was purely used to pay Credit Card debt because the interest was killing me. I finished paying off all credit cards in July. Started saving in August. I started my 401k in June. And my individual investment account in August. For Christmas I set $150 per person for gifts that I’m sure I will buy something and a box of cards for everyone else that I will just give a card. Turned out I only spent &1800 for Christmas expenses vs 4K+ in previous years. And I sold items that I no longer need on eBay for extra income to pay for my Christmas expense. So basically.. I monitored my finances, built a decipline budget and stick to it, Find help where I could, took advantage of cash back from the credit cards, my credit score automatically went up in the whole process, work multiple jobs to increase income while decreasing expenditures, sell stuff I don’t need and built an investment portfolio. It was a hectic year now I comfortably work one Job and 2019 will be twice as better now I learnt how to manage my finances and credit. Stuff we never learn in school. Hope this helps.
Level 6

HELP! I'm struggling to keep up with my credit card payments

Hi! I agree with everyone else. You should keep your cards at home so you’re not tempted to swipe them while you’re out. I did that for the long time. My second recommendation is to only spend what you have. If you can’t grab your debit card and make a payment on something you used your credit card for right after a purchase, you should try to refrain from buying. Lastly, you can get a Credit Karma account and look at their credit card recommendations. They will tell you your approval odds and you can pick out a card best for you. I recently got an American Express and did a balance transfer which is a God send because it does not accrue interest for a year and some change, so that really helped me tackle my debt. I paid off my credit cards super fast after that! I know it’s hard, but try to keep a positive outlook and keep seeking help on forums like this and keeping up with what you owe and to whom. I live paycheck to paycheck now, but at least I know that I’m being responsible with my funds compared to before. I literally map out how I will spend my money a week before each paycheck. That helped me a lot too because I started to see where I was mindlessly spending and helped me nip those habits in the butt. Keep your head up! I promise it’ll get better if you really try!!

Level 3

HELP! I'm struggling to keep up with my credit card payments

Sure it helps! It’s common sense and everything changed by me in terms of debt, once I took that path
Level 2

HELP! I'm struggling to keep up with my credit card payments

I'm having trouble with credit cards. The payments keep getting larger
Level 6

HELP! I'm struggling to keep up with my credit card payments

Reading this gave me an aneurysm. Please formulate sentences correctly before responding to important matters! Lol
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Level 8

HELP! I'm struggling to keep up with my credit card payments

 DO NOT! I repeat, DO NOT follow the advice of "close all credit card accounts" unless you want to seriously hurt your score. 

 

RaG's advice of paying off credit cards in ascending order based on interest rate is a tried and true method, you also need to NOT put anymore debt on these cards. Use this method if you want to slowly stop the bleeding and you don't have the credit for the next option.

 

If you have good credit and you use a credit union, see if they have any deals going on with credit cards. Some will offer no interest credit cards for 2 years with no transfer fees. You could consolidate all card debt onto one card that has no interest, which will give you time to breathe and stop the interest rate hemorrhaging. After you have zero balance on the cards you just transferred, you DO NOT USE THEM AGAIN until you have paid back every penny of this debt. This is going to require self control so you don't keep digging yourself deeper into a hole. 

 

Start making big payments on the new card (basically add up all of the minimum payment requirements for each card, and how much interest you were being charged and whatever else you can add to the monthly payment of that card). If your debt to income ratio is very high, I'd recommend making a strict budget and sticking to it until you've paid this card back before they start charging you interest. 

 

Either one of these will work if you're willing to acknowledge your problem and deal with it using these methods. The interest rates on these cards are going to absolutely murder you. Never use more than 15% of your total credit limit at any given time! That's a general rule of thumb. 

Level 2

HELP! I'm struggling to keep up with my credit card payments

Not true. To close an account leaves a bad mark on your credit. It doesn’t matter if it is paid off or not. It will read as a “closed” account. If I were you to say your credit, try to make arrangements to make a payment you can afford monthly so that you reduce the bill and can still handle the payment. I’m sure they will work with you. They want your money and you want your good credit. It’s a win win.
Level 2

HELP! I'm struggling to keep up with my credit card payments

If you close your credit account it will really mess with your credit score