The average American has more than $9,000 in credit card debt. While having a credit card isn’t a bad thing, letting credit card debt pile up over time can place an enormous strain on your finances. Take a look at the articles, Q&A’s, blog posts and videos we have linked to this topic for ideas on how to handle credit card debt and your personal finances.
Need a credit card fast? If you choose that credit card wisely, it can reduce financial stress caused later by soaring APRs and a multitude of late fees. And remember: While credit cards and credit card debt can be a huge source of financial stress, particularly if you build up a significant balance, they can [...]
A homeowner has already used her home's equity to pay off credit card debt. Now the credit card debt is run up again but she needs a home equity loan to pay for home repairs. Credit counseling might be in order to get the credit card debt under control before this homeowner thinks about home improvements.
Negotiating repayment of credit card debt can impact your credit score and your tax bill. One problem with offering credit card companies less than what you owe them is that you may have a hefty tax bill because the IRS views the settlement as "phantom income." If you negotiate and settle with your creditors, be prepared to pay the tax bill the following year. You should also - as part of your final agreement - get the credit card company to report your balance as "paid as agreed" or "paid in full."
If you've found yourself in a situation with a large amount of credit card debt and cash on hand, take the cash to pay off the credit card debt. While it might be nice to think you have a cushion of cash for an emergency, there's no point in paying high credit card interest rates when you have the cash to pay it off. If you simply pay off the debt, and then start to "repay" yourself with the savings, you'll quickly replenish your cash savings.
Lowering credit card debt is a noble objective for all of us. Maybe you need to switch credit cards? Finding a new credit card is a good move if your old credit card has high interest rates and stiff fines. Here's how to find a good credit card and what to watch out for.
Canceling open lines of credit may hurt your credit score. There are a couple of ways that canceling a credit card account can hurt your credit score. Part of your credit score is based on how long you've had credit accounts opened. So, a credit card with a zero balance that has been opened for 20 years will help your credit score more than a credit card account that has only been opened 6 months, 2 years, 5 years, or even 10 years.
What does it mean if creditors put "charged off" on your account? This is a negative reporting that could severely hurt your credit score. A collection agency can pursue you for debt that has been charged off. While it is legal for them to pursue you, they have to live within the rules of the Fair Debt Collection Act.