Use our credit card payoff calculator to see how long it would take to pay off the balance on a single credit card using different monthly payment amounts. You can set your pay off goal in months and calculate how much you need to pay monthly to meet that goal.
4 Strategies to Pay Off Your Credit Card
Pay Off in Chunks
Debt can be very overwhelming to pay off, especially if you have multiple credit cards. Instead of tackling everything at once, take it in chunks. A method that might work for debt payment is the snowball method. With this method you can prioritize your smallest balance to make extra payments that feel more manageable. You can slowly work up to your biggest balance by including more money each month.
The only downside with the snowball method is that focusing on your smallest balance won’t help you save money in the long-run as you’ll still be paying high interest rates on the rest of your credit cards. However, with this method, you could work toward improving your overall credit debt utilization ratio faster. Credit reporting bureaus use your utilization ratio as a big factor in your credit score. Once you start paying off debt and even closing accounts, this signals to the bureaus that you don’t need to borrow as much money. If you can pay off a card quickly, it’ll boost your ratio and help improve your credit score.
Transfer Your Balance
If you need more time to pay off your credit card debt, you may be able to transfer your balance and avoid interest payments. To do this, you’ll need to apply for a 0% APR credit card such as the Discover it Cashback card and Chase Freedom Unlimited.
To entice users, these cards have a 0% intro APR period that usually lasts around 12-14 months. During this time, you won’t incur interest on your balance or additional purchases. However, you’ll need to pay off your balance before this time period ends, or you’ll be subject to high interest rates moving forward.
Before you opt for a balance transfer, consider the amount of time you’ll have with 0% interest as well as the card’s ongoing interest rate. If the ongoing interest rate is greater than your current credit cards, it may not be worth it, especially if you’re unsure whether you’ll be able to pay off the debt in time.
Apply for a Personal Loan
If your debt is too overwhelming to pay off within a couple of months or even a year, you may want to apply for a personal loan. The loan can help pay off all your credit debt by consolidating it so you only owe one creditor. Consequently, you’ll owe monthly payments to your lender through a longer period of several years.
Before consolidating your debt, it’s important to consider the interest rates. Many personal loans may offer a lower interest rate than your credit cards. If so, the personal loan can help you save money in the long-run. If your interest rate will be even higher than your credit cards, it may not be worth it.
Reprioritize Your Debt
The best way to pay off your debt is by getting organized. Consider using the snowball method or the avalanche method for debt payment.
With the avalanche method, you’ll save the most money. This method prioritizes your credit cards with the highest interest rate, regardless of the balance. This method may take longer since you could potentially start with the highest balance. However, closing accounts with the highest interest rates can free up money you wouldn’t normally have to begin paying off your other debts.