The average American has four credit cards. To some, having four credit cards is unthinkable. To others, it seems necessary.
Like all things money-related, the way you use your cards is more important than how many you have. But, if you misuse your credit cards or you experience financial hardship, having four different payments can make your life hard. It also makes it difficult to pay down the balances.
Are you wondering how to pay off multiple credit cards? Here’s what you need to know.
Don’t Try to Manage Them All at Once
Making the minimum payment on all your cards will get you absolutely nowhere. Not only will you spend hundreds a month on bills, but you will barely pay down the balance. Most of your minimum payment goes towards interest if your card balances are high or maxed out.
For example, if you have a $5,000 balance and an 18.9% interest rate, it will take you over 11 years to pay off the balance by paying the minimum payment.
Instead of spreading yourself thin and paying for years, you need a new strategy.
Do Use Balance Transfers to Reduce Your Payment
Could you make a dent if you only had one payment? If the answer is yes, then you might consider balance transfers.
You can transfer the balance of an active credit card account to a new balance transfer card and get a brief reprieve from interest. Balance transfer cards usually offer six months to one year of interest-free use, which means all your payments go to the principle.
Balance transfers are great ways to keep your credit intact, lower your payment, and save on interest. However, they only work in scenarios where you can pay off the card in the time given. Otherwise, you could be facing the race against interest all over again.
Consider Debt Consolidation Loans if There’s No End in Sight
If you’re carrying high balances and you can’t confidently pay them off with a balance transfer, consider trying debt consolidation.
Debt consolidation rolls all your debts into one and offers one monthly payment. Unlike a balance transfer, it comes with a lower interest rate. So, you can pay off the cards without racing the clock.
Using this method can also be helpful for dealing with the anxiety surrounding debt. You have one low payment, and you know that you will be done paying it off after a certain period of time. It offers more mental relief than you’d get endlessly paying off a credit card.
If you find yourself stressed about making payments and you carry under 40% of your annual income in revolving debt, then it’s time to find out more about debt consolidation options.
How to Pay off Multiple Credit Cards: It’s Possible
The average American has thousands of dollars in credit card debt. Unfortunately, once you fall behind, it’s hard to catch up again. The interest feels as though it might eat you alive.
It’s important to know that you do have options, and you’re not just limited to balance transfers or debt consolidation. If you’re wondering how to pay off multiple credit cards, you may also qualify for free credit counseling in your area.
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