Ashley Temer is a Financial Representative with Northwestern Mutual who helps professionals, families, and business owners plan for financial security. She’s here for your “Money Minute.”
Do you find it difficult to pay down your credit card debt? Managing it will some patience, strategy, and discipline, but it will also free up money that could go towards other important financial goals. Here are some steps to help get started.
First, be sure to have an emergency fund. Getting caught off-guard by unplanned expenses often is what leads to large credit card bills in the first place. Second, list all credit cards by interest rate and outstanding balances. Consult with your credit card companies to try to reduce your annual percentage rate (APR) or take advantage of balance transfer offers. Third, it’s time to manage the debt. Start with the card that has the highest APR. Once the first card is paid off, move on to the next by applying the extra money. Fourth, commit to staying out of credit card debt. Think of it as a trade-off; resisting the temptation of a pricey dinner or new set of golf clubs is saving you on interest and thus freeing up your funds for bigger money goals.