A credit card provides the easiest and instant credit to the cardholder. Nowadays, banks have attached multiple offers, discounts, and rewards with credit cards suiting a set of expenses and for various classes of customers. These varieties of offers and bonuses have made credit card far more attractive than before. In today’s time, they have become more than the source of instant credit and cover for the shortage of cash. They are now actively used to save on regular expenses and or take advantage of a particular offer.
However, when not used diligently, credit cards can easily drag you into a debt trap. Here are some useful ways to avoid piling up debt on your credit card and pay it off:
- Payments into EMIs: You can request your banker to convert the outstanding balance of your credit card into EMIs. It is like availing a personal loan or loan on the credit card to set off your credit card balance from the same bank. The resultant interest rate is often lower than the regular credit card rate of interest. Although a processing fee would be applicable when you convert your outstanding balance.
- Pay more than Minimum Due: The main reason for the debt being piled up on credit cards is your habit of paying just the minimum due amount on your credit card. It is the easiest way to get into a debt trap. Start by paying more than the minimum amount so that over a period of time, you can settle the debt.
- Track your bill: Keeping a regular track of your credit card statement and the expenses for which you are charged is a simple way to assess the number of expenses you are doing from your card. It would help you to cut out any expenses which are not necessary or can be done from other mediums instead of a credit card.
- Balance Transfer: If you have multiple credit card debts, then you can consider transferring the balance of one credit card to another or transferring multiple credit card balance to one. This measure provides temporary relief to the debt burden and will also give you mental space to consider more ways of reducing the debt.
- Grace/Holiday Period: It is the period in which no interest is charged on any transaction done from the credit card. You can make planned buys on your credit card to take maximum advantage of the grace period and avoid interest.
- Automatic Payment Facility: Missing credit card payments attract late fees which is significant. By opting for automated payment facility, you will ensure not to miss the credit card payment due date ever again, and you will have no worries whatsoever to remember the date and make payment.
- Billing Cycle: Understanding the billing cycle of your credit card can also give you the advantage to reduce the applicable interest. For example, if your credit card billing is done on the 12th of each month, then any purchase made on 11th will attract a day’s interest while a purchase made on 12th or 13th will attract the interest of the whole month. By strategically making your purchase at the right time, you can avoid a lot of interest.
- Limit the number of cards: Limit the number of credit cards you are holding to one or two. Make sure not to get swayed away by the irresistible offers and end up attracting more debt.
Credit cards in today’s time is a handy financial tool when used in the right manner.
Credit cards in today’s time come with a lot of attractive offers which can easily sway the mind and lead you into a debt trap. The following are some ways in which you can get out of it and pay the card off:
- Strategize your purchases as per the billing cycle of your card. For example, if your credit card bill gets due on the 15th of each month, then purchases made on 16th will attract the whole month’s interest while purchases made on 14th would attract only one day’s interest.
- Pay more than just the minimum due amount to stop piling debt and start paying it off.
- You can also convert your credit card balance into EMIs which will work like availing a personal loan or loan against your credit card. The interest rate applicable will also be lower.
- You can also transfer the outstanding balances of your various credit cards into one.
- Take advantage of the grace period provided with every credit card by completely paying off the credit card bill from the very first month of availing the card.
- Do not own a number of credit cards. One or two cards with offers on your most regular expenses and exciting deals are enough.