Credit cards serve as a solution to most of your purchases and problems. With the advent of a wide range of cards offered by major banks, you can pay for anything and everything with your credit card, even groceries.
These cards are a solution, yes, but only when used smartly. If you get your hands on a credit card and you go for a shopping spree, that’s not spending wisely. Your card just becomes a liability at the end of the month with a huge bill to pay off.
Credit card bills adding up on a monthly basis and not being able to pay in full has become a common occurrence for most people nowadays. Due to this, every month, your bill adds up to the previous months resulting in a large debt which needs to be paid.
This is if you have one credit card. If you hold more than one, if you do not spend wisely, you have multiple debts which hits your monthly budget as well as your credit report.
Credit card debt cycle is an actual term given to this where you might end up spending more with a credit card in hand. This leads to a huge credit card bill, probably more than what your budget is. This, in turn, results in borrowing money in the form of a loan to pay off these debts. Hence, a cycle.
Here are some of the ways by which you can pay off your debts
Make a note of all the debts to be paid
Instead of looking at your credit card bill at once, which is a lot, break it down into smaller parts. This helps you to categorize it. If you hold more than one credit card, it is advisable to pay off the bill which is on priority.
Now how do you differentiate which bill needs to be paid first? It depends on two criteria which is the interest rate of the card and the outstanding bill.
If you have only one credit card and a total bill of Rs.20,000 for example. It is a better strategy if you divide it into 4. This becomes easier if you see and know that you must pay Rs.5,000 instead of Rs.20,000 at a whole.
It is advised that you pay the bill of the credit card which has a higher rate of interest rather than the one which has a higher amount. This will save you from paying a large sum of money due to accumulated interest in the coming months.
If you think, only paying the minimum amount dues helps you to keep it aside for the time being, think again as this might affect your credit report and score. Banks will keep a track of your activity and if they see that you are being a reckless spender, they might suspend your credit card.
Paying the card bill with the least balance
Once you pay off the credit card bill with the higher interest rate, you can switch to the card with the least balance pending.
This completely depends on what bills have accumulated and on which card. It might not always be this way. Sometimes, the bill which is the lowest might be with the card which has the highest balance. In that way, you are clearing off two important bills.
Once you are done with clearing the credit card with the highest interest, you can shift to the bill which has the least pending balance. Paying this provides you with a much-needed mental boost of clearing the rest of the bills.
Getting a credit card with low APR
In India, there are no credit cards which have an Annual Percentage Rate of 0% like in the United States of America. These cards are used for a credit card balance transfer. During the period of 0% interest charged, the cardholder can pay off all the pending bills.
However, there are cards which offer a low percentage of interest compared to other cards.
In this case, you can hold two credit cards, the balance of the credit card with a higher rate of interest can be transferred to the one with a lower interest rate. In this way, you save a large portion of money on interest.
Taking a loan to pay off credit card debts
If your credit card bills are too much to pay off even in installments, there is another option by which you can pay it off at one shot.
If you have a good credit score, you can apply for a personal loan to clear off all your credit card bills at one go. In this way, you can be debt free and will be paying lesser interest. Personal loan interest rates are comparatively lesser than credit card interest rates. Apart from this, depending on the tenure, your monthly EMI will be a nominal amount as well.
Converting outstanding bill to EMIs
If nothing else, you can always visit your bank branch and request to convert your outstanding credit card bill into EMIs.
Most banks charge a nominal interest rate for these EMIs with a specified tenure option. These EMIs can be deposited directly at the bank branch, with a cheque or can be deducted directly from your account with the automatic payment facility of the bank.
Paying off your bills on a regular basis
This is advice for the future. It is always better to make sure you make a budget for your credit card and make purchases based on that budget. In that way, you can pay off your bill in full without carrying it forward to the next month or getting stuck in a debt cycle.
It is advisable that you put all your payments such as rent, utilities such as gas, wifi, telephone, and water bill on your credit card. Since these are constant monthly expenses, they need to be paid regardless. In this way, you can budget it accordingly.
If there is a major expense such as vacation or purchasing a product which is expensive, it is important to sort out your finances first and then make the plan. You can book your flight tickets and hotel bookings with your credit card as they have many offers and discounts in these categories. If you have accumulated enough air miles, you can get flight tickets by redeeming these miles.
These are some of the ways by which you can pay off your credit card debt faster. It is important to do so as the faster you clear it, the less it affects your credit score and report. To know more about credit cards, you can visit the bank branch or call customer care.