Many people in the UK find that they have to face up to credit card debt problems at some point in their life. The convenience of credit cards combined with their high rates of interest means that it is all too easy to get into financial difficulties. For people looking to reduce their credit card debt there are a number of options.
Credit cards should never be seen as a long term borrowing option. The average interest rates payable at 16% or more are at least twice as expensive as an average comparable loan, so it makes sense where possible to minimise credit card spend in favour of less expensive forms of borrowing. If you do find that you are constantly struggling to make credit card payments then the first step should be to simply try to reduce how often you use your cards.
The high interest rates associated with most credit cards means that maintaining large levels of credit card debt is both risky and highly wasteful. By only making the minimum payment each month it can take years if not decades to clear credit card balances, all the while wasting an incredible sum of money in interest payments. If you owe money over several credit cards then it makes sense to initially concentrate on paying off the balance on the cards with the highest rate of interest. This way you are reducing the rate at which the debt is increasing.
You should also consider transferring the balance to another credit card which has a lower rate of interest. Credit card companies are very competitive and as such there are some very good 0% balance transfers and purchase offers available. Look to take advantage of these, but make sure you have a plan in place on how to deal with the balance when the offer finishes.
For more substantial credit card debt problems you may want to consider entering into either an informal Debt Management Plan or into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA). Both of these types of agreements will consolidate your debts into a single monthly repayment making it easier for you to manage your debts. Additionally they can stop interest and charges relating to the debt meaning that you are able to repay what you owe over a much shorter period of time.