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11 Smart Tips to Pay Off Credit Card Debt Fast

June 11, 2018


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When you have credit card debt, it isn’t easy to break the cycle. This is particularly true when your credit cards have very high interest rates. And with each additional purchase, the debt and interest mount.

But it’s not impossible to pay off your credit card debt once and for all, and it doesn’t have to take nearly as long as you may think.

Using these 11 tips, you can pay off credit card debt fast, although you may have to make some changes.

1. Don’t Use Your Credit Cards

Obviously, one of the best ways to pay off your credit card debt faster is to stop using your credit cards, to prevent adding more debt. You shouldn’t close your accounts as it can hurt your credit score. Instead, just shred them or put them in a safe place and don’t use them.

Not sure what your credit score is? You can check it for free with Credit Sesame.

2. Refinance Your Credit Card Debt

Refinancing your credit card debt can provide you with just one payment instead of making several payments to different lenders each month. It may also be a lower monthly payment than all of your previously combined minimum payments. Even still, you may save money and pay off your debt faster because of the significantly lower interest rate on most personal loans.

For example, PenFed Credit Union offers personal loans with fixed interest rates as low as 6.49% APR and no origination fee! Compare that to the 16% or more you’re paying on your credit card and it’s no wonder you can pay your credit card debt off fast by refinancing!

You may also be able to refinance your student loans and pay them off faster too.

3. Remember, Every Cent Pays Your Debt Off Quicker

Every extra bit of money that you can pay off your credit card gains you faster progress toward paying down your debt.

For example, if you pay an additional $50 each month you will have paid an extra $600 toward your credit card debt by the end of the year.

Not sure where to get that extra money? Try picking up a side hustle, like taking surveys with Survey Junkie, using Swagbucks to watch videos or search the internet, or driving with Uber.

4. Start Side Hustling

Again, to pay off credit card debt fast, you should find any way you can to make extra money. Try taking on a side hustle or second job. There are many different options to choose from that can make you extra money to apply to your credit card debt.

Remember you don’t have to work every evening and every weekend to make progress. If you work every other weekend and a couple of nights a week you could make significant progress on your credit card repayment.

To help me pay off my debt faster, I started my virtual assistant business. It’s helped me increase my earnings 6X from when I was working my day job.

5. Utilize Extra Money Wisely

If you get a raise at work, immediately put it toward your credit card debt.

Do you anticipate getting a refund on your taxes this year? If so, apply it toward your debt too. It’s tempting to spend it on something frivolous, but the best gift you can give yourself is to pay off credit card debt fast.

6. Slash Your Spending

Slash your spending to free up more money in your monthly budget to put toward debt.

One way to do this is to give yourself the challenge of seeing just how little you can survive on for the month.

You can also make smart changes to your spending by swapping out your current services for cheaper versions.

For example, cancel cable and switch to Hulu for only $7.99 per month. Or, you could switch to a cheaper cell phone provider like Republic Wireless. Their plans start out at only $20 per month for talk, text, and data.

Finally, you could try not eating out even once for a couple of weeks.

Put the amount you would have spent on these things toward your credit card debt instead.

7. Pay Every Two Weeks

Did you know if you make payments every two weeks instead of once a month you will pay down your debt faster?

That is because there are 52 weeks in a year. When you pay every two weeks, you make payments 26 times. Dividing that by two means you have made 13 payments to your credit card instead of the usual 12, or once a month. It also lowers the total amount of interest you will pay, further lowering your debt.

If you use this method to pay off credit card debt fast, just make sure you pay at least the minimum payment by the due date each month.

8. Round Up Purchases

Round up your purchases through Qoins to apply even more money toward your credit card debt. The Qoins app lets you round up purchases you make anyway, such as groceries, and use the spare change to pay your credit card debt off fast.

The cost is only $1.99 per month and is deducted from the amount that is rounded up in your account. All the rest of the rounded money is used to pay off your debt. Some months it may not be much, but each dollar makes your debt lower.

9. Negotiate Bills

You can also try to negotiate some of your monthly bills with Trim. Trim will help you save money on your bills by negotiating them on your behalf. They’ll also watch for subscriptions you may have forgotten about, like that pesky gym membership that’s on auto-renew!

When they find one, they’ll text you so you can decide to keep it going or cancel it. Trim is completely free to use. The only time Trim makes money is if they successfully negotiate your bills. Then, they’ll keep 25% of the savings, but you’ll still be saving 75%.

10. Sell What You Don’t Use

If you have items sitting around the house that you no longer use, sell them and use the extra money to pay off more of your credit card debt.

You could have a garage sale or sell items on Facebook buy/sell/trade groups. This way you don’t have to worry about shipping things to buyers.

11. Use a Smart Debt Strategy

When you have debt on multiple credit cards, try using a smart strategy to focus your efforts.

For example, you could focus on paying off the one with the lowest balance first. Once it is paid off, apply the money you would have paid on it to the next lowest balance credit card.

Related Post: Debt Snowball vs. Debt Avalanche: Which Is Better?

You can choose to try any combination of the tips offered here to pay off credit card debt fast. Whatever you decide to do, don’t put it off. Get started soon so you can enjoy more financial freedom with no credit card debt looming over your head.

Do you have credit card debt you would like to pay off? How are you going to pay it off fast?

This post is in collaboration with PenFed Credit Union. The views expressed in the article are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Pentagon Federal Credit Union. PenFed Credit Union is an Equal Housing Lender and is federally insured by the NCUA.

Credit card debt doesn't have to be forever. You can pay off credit card debt fast and start enjoying life again without that pressure hanging over your head. These tips can help you do that in less time by starting today.
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4 responses to “11 Smart Tips to Pay Off Credit Card Debt Fast

  1. Good timing on this post Kayla!!! Your tip #1 to stop using debt is the most important! Yesterday I put my credit cards on ice and they will be thawed only for emergency back up the next time I travel.

    I’m going to work on paying every two weeks since I didn’t realize the mortgage biweekly payment tip also works with credit cards.

  2. Great list! And I think #3 is a good point to mention! It’s easy to forget that little things add up (which can also be how the debt gets there in the first place). The different options you try can add up in their own way, too, as they can tackle different aspects of the problem.

    1. You are so right about little purchases adding up and eventually turning into big debt. Once you realize it, it’s easier to question every purchase you make, including the little ones.

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