Credit card debt is one of the single biggest issues affecting people in the UK, as people are often tempted by the benefits of a credit card but then struggle to pay the necessary monthly repayments. From May 2012, the average amount of unsecured household debt in the UK was £7891, showing that there has been a substantial increase on the level of debt on 2011 and the 5 year period before 2008.
Usually it is the convenience of credit cards which makes them more appealing to use when the cash flow is running low. Unfortunately for those who use them, there is a high rate of interest associated with them that can be difficult to repay over time.
Not only do these reasons suggest why credit card debt is so high in the UK, they also make it extremely difficult for individuals to repay their liability. With many more people unemployed or being made redundant, it is clear that those in credit card debt don’t always have the disposable income to pay off the debt on a regular basis. It is only those with a proactive and determined approach to saving that will be able to overcome credit card debt in the future.
Consolidate your debt
If you are in debt with a number of credit cards, it can be even more difficult to accept more than one individual liability, and make multiple repayments when your money is tight. When managing your debt, try to pay off each credit card one at a time and once you have settled the account, close it down. Alternatively, you could also transfer your balance onto one credit card to ensure that you can manage your money in one place.
Try to shift your debts onto a 0% credit card and either pay it off before the 0% term expires, or shift the balance to another card before the interest kicks in. If you can’t get approved for a 0% card, a low-interest card (5-10%) will still be lower than the APR on most debts.This will help to create one clear goal for you as opposed to trying to pay off debt on many credit cards. By working out the APR of each credit card you will be able to see which card needs to be paid off first.
If you are struggling to pay off any of your debt you could always contact the CCCS (http://www.cccs.co.uk/) and see if they can help as they can sometimes arrange for debts to be frozen or consolidated into a single manageable monthly payment.
Only spend what you can afford
Although credit cards can offer financial support and tend to be convenient for the user, they can encourage you to spend money you don’t have. A more effective solution to the problem of limited cash flow is to budget your levels of disposable income, and ensure that every penny you spend is accounted for and necessary. If you commit to only keeping cash, you will know exactly how much you are spending as opposed to feeling like you have an endless amount of money to spend on your credit card.
Make sure you can afford your repayments
If you are trying to pay too much on your credit card monthly bill repayments, you will soon find that you may be getting yourself into further debt. By implementing a strict budget each month you will know how much disposable income you have each month, as well as how much you have to repay your debt. Make a list of your income outgoings as well as a list of essential and non essential spending in order to see how much you can pay each month towards your credit card debt.
If any creditors call to ask about your debt, you will then be able to explain what capacity you have to make the repayments each month. Committing to manageable repayments will help you to regain trust with your creditors and as well as helping yourself to feel more confident with your saving methods.
Obviously, it is great if you can pay more on your minimum monthly repayments as this will help you to reduce your credit card debt much quicker, helping you to feel more relaxed and carefree about your financial situation. By dealing with your debt in this logical way, it is likely that you will learn from your experience and be more careful next time you are tempted to open a credit card.
This article was written by Debt Free Me; specialists in debt consolidation and financial management. Visit www.debtfreeme.co.uk for free advice on managing credit card debt and your finances.