To ease your mind and take that heavy weight off your shoulders, striving to eliminate all debts is an impressive goal. Most American’s have huge amounts of credit card debt. Even paying off large debts like paying off the mortgage or paying off the cars early may seem impossible. If you work at it a little at a time, it’s surely possible.
Credit card interest rates are among the highest of any debt, and typically the first debt to focus on eliminating. The first thing to do is identify which credit cards have the highest interest rates and highest balances (if there is more than one). Next, contact the credit card companies to negotiate lower interest rates. Check bankrate.com for a lower interest rate credit card if you are not successful with your negotiations or to find a better deal for you.
Once your cards are paid off, strive to use them carefully and to your benefit. Credit cards can be a great way to track your spending, safely shop online, and also offer many beneficial points programs. I pay off my cards at the end of each month. By knowing how much I expect to spend on my cards monthly (by the budget we set earlier) and keep that amount in an interest paying saving’s account. If some financial emergency comes up such as a lay off, I have the money set aside to pay off the card. I’m also able to enjoy the benefit of gift certificates I receive from my card’s points programs.
Depending on the type of loan, varying amounts of your payment will be allocated to interest and loan principle. For instance on a mortgage, in the first years you will be paying only interest and nothing toward your principle. You will need to contact your loan provider for your mortgage, car, or other loan to see if they have special instructions on how to pay additional principle payments above your monthly payment. In some cases you will need to write a separate check to make sure the additional payment goes to principle. By ensuring that your extra payment goes only to the loan principle, you will make your payment go farther.