ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Tips For Getting Rid Of Crippling Credit Card Debt

Updated on August 11, 2012

Tips on Getting Rid of Credit Card Debt

Once you find yourself in over your financial head in terms of credit card debt, it can be a bit overwhelming to think about how to get out of it.

First and foremost, examine how you got there and spend some serious time thinking about why your debt got away from you.

Was it an emergency, such as buying airline tickets to fly back home for a funeral that started the financial wrecking ball coming towards you?

Or was it a period of time when you were out of work and decided to use your credit cards when you didn’t have money?

Or was it brought on by not realizing the difference between need and want?

If you can identify the root cause of your credit card debt, you’ll have a better understanding of how the whole snowball effect of credit works when managed poorly - and hopefully prevent it from happening again.

But that doesn’t help much by way of telling you how the heck to solve this problem right now does it?

Let’s look at some facts about credit card debt, what to do and what NOT to do about resolving this troubling situation so you can sleep at night.

public domain photo
public domain photo


1. Analyze your debt – figure out how much you owe and to whom.

2. Look at the APR rates (annual percentage rates) – which are the highest, which are the lowest?

3. Calculate the balances on all cards – arrange them on paper from highest to lowest balances.

4. Itemize your monthly bills - including things like fuel and groceries. How much can you set aside to pay towards any credit card in a lump sum (after meeting the minimum balances on any of your other cards)?

5. Put your credit cards away. Stash them, give them to your spouse to hold onto or both of you – put the cards down and step away! While you are paying off debt, you CANNOT and WILL NOT use your credit cards. It’s like an alcoholic – would you put a bottle of whiskey in front of an alcoholic and hope he stays sober? Probably not – so don’t tempt yourself. Do something with your cards so you will not be tempted to fall off the credit wagon.

6. Get your current credit score. You can get it for free on Creditkarma. Periodically check up on it as well to make sure you're doing what you need to do. Also get your credit report, which is different from your credit score and make sure it is accurate. Take care of any problems on the report.

7. Call all your credit card companies - and try to negotiate a lower rate! It’s possible to do this and pay less money!

8. Decide on which method you want to use to pay off your credit cards. Here are 2 popular ones:

  • Debt payoff snowball theory - the theory proposed by Dave Ramsey on Moolanomy. Throw any and all extra money at the smallest balanced credit card because it makes you feel better to see your debt evaporating quickly. Then when that card is paid off, you attack the next card with the smallest balance and so on, working your way to the mother of all of your credit card debts – the one with the biggest balance.
  • Debt payoff theory advocated by Ramit Sethi – as proposed in his book I Will Teach You To Be Rich and also on his blog about paying off debt. Attack the highest APR card and keep throwing money there until it is paid down and goes away. Pay the minimum on all other cards until it's paid off. By using this method, you save money that you would lose in interest by concentrating on the smaller cards.

No matter the Nike says....just do it!

Things You Should Not Do To Buy Down Your Credit Card Debt

  • Do not dip into your 401(k) to pay off debt. You will be taxed twice in effect to "save money". Does that make sense? NO!
  • Do not take out a home equity loan to pay off debt. Why? Because most likely, if you can’t control your spending and if you've become a credit card junkie, you'll do it again. Borrowing against your home equity is bad business. You are tapping into an asset to pay off a liability. It becomes a vicious cycle!
  • Do not transfer your credit card debt to a lower APR card to pay it off unless you are recommended to do this by a reputable credit counselor – NOT a loan officer or anyone associated with a lending institution! They want your money! There are so many loopholes in balance transfers that you may end up paying more than you were paying in the beginning. And it still doesn’t solve the credit card problem – you! Sorry to say it, but if you have a problem with overspending, for whatever reason, you have to attack the root of the problem and stop the madness.

Once you get your credit card debt lined up and decide on how you will go about paying it off, look into automatic deposit for paying off your debt. After you pay off your credit card debt, continue this practice if you ever use a credit card again. Pay it off monthly and you'll never have another sleepless night.

The key to managing credit card debt is to only buy what you can pay off that month. If it’s an automatic withdrawal, you won’t have any choice but to keep yourself focused on what you spend and how you’ll be paying for it.

This is all part of a spending technique that Ramit Sethi advocates on his blog and in his book I Will Teach You to Be Rich which he calls conscious spending. By employing this technique across many aspects of your financial life, you'll learn how to manage your money better and to make it work for you.

Check it out for some more great applications to your financial life!

How To Get Out of Credit Card Debt

Whatever method you decide to use for paying off your credit card debt, you can do it! It just takes that old fashioned phrase – self-discipline - but anyone can do it.

You’ll feel better about yourself if you don’t have this albatross hanging around your neck.

Most people who have credit card debt are very embarrassed by it, but the sad fact is that many who run up credit card debt can’t find a way out of the tunnel.

You can see the light at the end of the tunnel if you begin to realize the problem – why do you buy and how is your credit card spending affecting your life?

Would you be happier with less ‘stuff’ and know that you actually owned it outright? Of course you would!

So let’s get out there and buy down that credit card debt!

How to Get Rid of Credit Card Debt with the Snowball Method

Sources for Credit Card Debt Help

National Foundation for Credit Counseling -

Nonprofit debt consolidation - How Stuff 

Credit Card Calculator -

Snowball calculator -


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)