If you’ve had credit card debt for as long as you can remember, there may be obvious reasons why you can't get out of debt. Debt can be a dark cloud hanging over your head. If your credit cards are maxed out, or if you carry balances close to your limit, your credit score may suffer. And when your credit score suffers, it becomes harder to get mortgage loans and auto loans. There are ways to overcome debt, but you first need to understand reasons why you can't get out of debt.
1. You do Not Have a Nest Egg
The fact that you do not have a savings account can be one of the reasons why you can't get out of debt. It doesn't matter who you are, unexpected expenses will arise. Your car may break down, you may deal with a medical expense or you may have to travel unexpectedly. If you do not have an emergency cushion, you may be forced to rely on credit cards. And it's much harder to get out of debt when you're constantly putting new charges on your credit card.
2. You’re Paying a High Interest Rate
The higher the interest rate on your credit card – or any type of financing for that matter – the longer it will take to pay off the account. If the interest rate on your credit card is more than 13% or 15%, call your creditor and ask for a lower interest rate. This reduces how much you owe in interest each month, and more of the monthly payment will go toward bringing down your principal balance.
3. You’re Only Paying the Minimum
Minimum payments are affordable and convenient – but they won't pay off your credit card balances fast. Minimum payments are designed to keep you in debt. You will eventually pay off the credit card, but it'll take years and you'll pay a lot of interest. Stop paying the minimum and start doubling your monthly payments.
4. You Don't Have the Right Support
You may have every good intention, but if your spouse, siblings or friends encourage you to spend money that you don't have, you may feel pressured to pull out your credit card. You are responsible for your finances, therefore, you should not let any person pressure you into spending above your means. At the end of the day, you have to deal with the consequences of too much debt.
5. You Can't Deny Yourself
Do you want what you want, when you want it? If so, you may always deal with debt. Truthfully speaking, most of us have financial limitations. Learn how to recognize and accept these limitations. Not that you can't buy anything, but make a practice of saving up for purchases.
6. You’re Living above Your Means
If your house payment or car payment takes a large percentage of your earnings, you may rely on credit cards to get through the month. Without a credit card, it may be impossible to buy groceries, put gas in your car or even pay your utilities. To get from under this trap, you have to simplify your life.
7. You’re a Procrastinator
If you always put off things, you may never take the first step to get out of debt. Don’t say, “I’ll start paying off my cards next month,” or “I’ll develop a debt elimination plan after the holidays.” Start today.
You didn't get into debt overnight, therefore, you should not expect overnight results. But if you learn how to live according to a budget, and if you establish a debt elimination plan, you can reach your financial goals. How were you able to pay off debt? Can you offer any tips or suggestions?