How To Manage Credit Card Debt On Multiple Cards

Written by: Samuel Gregoth

Debt can be a mountain that most people find themselves stuck on. Most people who accumulate debt think that throwing money at it mindlessly is the best solution. In some cases this is true. If you have enough disposable income to take care of it, then go ahead and pay it down. 

For the rest of us that don’t have that option, we need to have a plan in place to tackle this debt. Common sources of debt are credit cards. Most people who do have credit card debt have it on multiple cards and not just one. There’s a lot of strategies for managing this kind of debt so let’s take a look at some of them. First, let’s look at how credit card debt impacts your credit card score.

How credit cards impact your credit score

Credit card debt can impact as much as 30 percent fo your overall credit score. The amount of your credit in relation to your maximum amount is what’s looked at. This is called credit card utilization. The higher your utilization, the bigger the impact on your credit score. 

Some people who do look into something like a debt management plan think that it impacts their credit. This isn’t really true so let’s take a look at how thy work.

Debt management plan

debt management plan is often something that a person can sign up for through something like a non-profit organization. What they do is offer the services of a credit counselor or other financial professional to help make a budget. The person on them sticks to the budget and eventually gets out of debt. 

While a debt management plan doesn’t really affect your credit score but it noted in your report. Being in something like this can actually help someone build their credit by having regular payments and reducing their utilization of their credit cards. So looking into this option can be very beneficial when done properly. 

These plans usually last for a number of years. Most last for about three to five years but it’s really up to the individual and their unique situation. So if you need more time, that shouldn’t be a problem. Other things that you can do with multiple credit cards is rolling them up into one card. Let’s see how that’s done.

Consolidating multiple cards into one balacne transfer

One thing that makes balance transfers so appealing is a 0% introductory APR that most of them have. When someone has multiple cards this means that each card is piling up interest at different rates. This can cause debt to pile up pretty quickly. Transferring those multiple balances to one card can help a person get caught up without a massive amount of interest piling up. Now there are some things to consider so let’s look at those.

The first thing to consider is that most transfer cards do have a transfer fee. This is typically around 3 percent. Most carriers also won’t let you transfer within. Meaning that if you own a Visa card then you can’t transfer to another Visa card. If you’re transferring multiple cards check if that’s allowed first or if there’s a limit. Most cards will allow multiple card transfers as long as the credit limit isn’t passed. 

Taking on this strategy can help eliminate the interest for a set period. Now before you do this you have to consider your own unique situation and look at much simpler solutions first. What if you are that person with a good amount of disposable income? Then look into making double payments.

Double up on payments

This is a very straight forward debt management strategy that’s good for people with a decent amount of money left over each month. This may even be included in a debt management plan if that’s the route that you choose to go. 

Doubling up on payment just means making two minimum payments each month. So if your monthly minimum payment is 50 dollars then you pay 100 each month. You don’t have to limit yourself to just doubling the minimum. If you can triple or pay more then that, go for it. Another strategy that you can choose is to pay off your highest utilized card first.

Paying off cards one at a time

This can be a good strategy if you have some money left over but not a lot to make payments. the idea is to choose the highest utilized card first and pay that one off in a set time. What you would do is pick that high utilized card, pay the minimum on the rest and make extra payments on that card until it is paid off. This can also quickly turn your credit score around pretty fast if done right. 

Remember that your credit score is impacted by credit utilization. So paying off that highly utilized card will cause your score to go up. In some cases, this can be a decent amount if your other cards are not being utilized too high. 

Conclusion

Having credit card debt can be a serious problem for a lot of people. Credit card debt can pile up because of interest and only making minimum payments each month. There are ways to tackle this problem. A debt management plan can help you get on track and even increase your credit score by making regular payments. 

Other methods include paying off cards one at a time and even transferring them all to one card. Just remember that doing a transfer balance does come with some consideratinos. Some of these are a small fee to do the transfer and a time limit on the 0 APR rate. 

As long as you follow a debt management plan and not ignore your credit card debt then you’ll be fine. So pick a plan or strategy that works for you and get that credit card debt under control.


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How To Manage Credit Card Debt On Multiple Cards

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