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By your side: managing credit card debt

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Do you have growing credit card debt? You are not alone. Many people rely more on credit cards to pay for essential expenses. How can you manage this debt? We’re on your side with a few ways to master it.

“Our credit card debt was about $120,000,” Rick LeClair said.

LeClair describing his mountain of credit card debt after combining his finances with his wife.

“When they started sending me credit card offers, I was like ok, give me, give me, give me, and I took them and I went crazy. I went absolutely crazy with credit cards and it was terrible,” LeClair said.

Right now, higher rates make it even more difficult to pay off your debt.

“As far as rates are concerned, the average credit card rate is currently 18.1%, the highest since 1996, and this is all due to the federal government’s efforts to control inflation and the fact that they’ve raised rates by two and a quarter points just since March,” Ted Rossman, a senior industry analyst with Bankrate.com said.

“If you have debt and are struggling to manage it, my best advice is to get a zero percent balance transfer credit card,” Rossman added.

Rossman tells us that these offers let you pause the interest clock for 21 months, potentially saving you hundreds or even thousands in interest. Another option for managing credit card debt is a low rate personal loan. Non-profit credit counseling is also a good option to help you get started on a debt management plan. Rossman says managing credit card debt also comes down to the fundamentals.

“Earn more, spend less. Maybe take a side hustle, selling things you don’t need,” Rossman said.

LeClair took a more aggressive approach. He sold his house and downsized. He used the money from the sale to pay off his credit card balances.

“We still have the credit cards, but I’m smarter with them now. I use it, I pay the balance. I use it, I pay the balance,” LeClair said.

Not many of us carry cash anymore, but it’s another way to reduce our debt. It may seem like a no-brainer, but paying cash keeps you from racking up more debt and can help you spend less overall.

You can find more ways to manage credit card debt here: https://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/ways-to-pay-off-credit-card-debt/

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