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Paying down credit card debt

Many New Yorkers have had to rely on credit cards to pay for their necessary expenses. Others have had to use credit cards when emergencies arise. In these cases, people are often left with mounting debt, high interest rates and no way to pay back the money. Following the recent recession, this is a common scenario.

However, with the slight turn around in the economy some New Yorkers may be looking for a way to pay down their credit card debt and start anew. Experts suggest that people stay away from debt settlement companies in order to pay down credit card debt since they are often a scam and can hurt people's credit score.

Instead, experts suggest that people try several other debt reduction techniques for paying down credit card debt. First, people are encouraged to schedule a smaller credit card payment every 14 days, instead of once a month. By using the calendar to schedule these payments, people will actually end up making 13 months' worth of payments during the course of a year.

Furthermore, experts suggest that people try a technique called laddering. Here people pay the most amount of money to the credit card with the highest interest rate and a lower amount to other cards until the first card is paid off. Then, repeat the process with the next highest interest rate.

Additionally, people are also encouraged to seek legitimate help when they are in need. There are cases where no amount of budgeting is going to help people pay off their credit card debt. In these situations, people should know that legal options exist that can help offer some debt relief. In some cases, negotiating with credit card companies, or applying for hardship debt-management plans can help people reduce debt. In other cases, bankruptcy may be a consumer's best option for a financial fresh start.

Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "Tips on paying off credit card debt," Clark Howard, May 14, 2014

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