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Top Reasons You Can’t Get Out of Debt And The Steps You Can Take to Change That

You Keep Spending On Credit.

It doesn’t make sense to keep adding to the debt that you are trying to pay off. Next time you go shopping, leave your credit card at home, consider freezing it, or even lock it away so you won’t be tempted to use it. If you have to, cut the card up for the time being, and have a new card reissued once you have been able to pay down your debt.

Stop Spending on Credit - Woman online shopping on phone using a credit card to pay

You’re Opening Retail Store Credit Cards and Using Them

Retail Store Credit Card - SALE sign on store window

Just about any retail store you go into now has its own credit card that they want you to apply for. Many times the interest rates on these credit cards are insane. Resist the temptation to open new retail credit cards, and charge your purchases on them. If you carry a balance on these cards, you will likely be paying a ton of money in interest, not to mention adding to your debt.

You’re Only Paying The Minimum

Only paying the minimum balance is not enough to get you out of debt at a fast rate. The longer you take to pay off your debt, the more interest you will pay. For example, let’s say Sally has a $5,000 balance on one of her retail store cards, with an interest rate of 12% APR, and she only makes the minimum monthly payment of $100. In this situation, it will take Sally 70 months to pay the card off in full. By the time everything is said and done, she will have paid an additional $1,966 in interest, making that original $5,000 balance $6,966 in the end. This example illustrates how much interest can build up, and how long it could take someone to pay off debt if he or she is only making the minimum payments every month.

Only Paying the Minimum Payment - Bill with minimum payment listed

Spending More Than You Bring In

One of the biggest reasons for people falling into debt is spending more money than they bring in. Make sure that you are not spending more than you bring in monthly. This habit will surely increase your outstanding debt. Instead, focus on paying off your current debt, not adding to it.

You're Spending More than You Make - Man holding empty wallet

Leaving Balances On High-Rate Cards.

High Interest Credit Cards - Woman holding bills

If you have large outstanding balances on high-rate credit cards, consider paying these balances off first. If you find that your outstanding balances are simply too high, consider speaking with a Launch CU loan specialist about applying for a personal loan to help consolidate your debt, or consider a balance transfer to a credit card with a lower interest rate. Personal loans often have much lower interest rates than credit cards, and have a set term in which you have to pay back the loan.

No Plan To Get Out

Perhaps the top reason that you cannot seem to get out of debt is that you simply do not have a plan to help you achieve this. It’s nearly impossible to make strides toward reducing your debt if you don’t have a plan of action in place. Start by making a budget including all of your financial obligations. This should help you determine how much you will be able to put toward your debt every month. Launch CU also offers a variety of financial resources to help you manage your money such as Debt In Focus, Fritter Finder, Money Management Planner, and more.

No Exit Sign

Tips To Get Out Of Debt

While your debt may seem like a dark shadow that will never go away, we are here to tell you that it is possible to overcome your debt and live a more stress-free life. Here is a list of five things that could help you reduce your debt, so you can experience more financial freedom this year.

Stay away from companies that promise to clear your debt quickly

Stay Away from Companies That Promise to Get Rid of Your Debt Fast - warning key on keyboard

A simple Google search will return thousands of results for companies that promise to rid you of your debt quickly. Be very wary of companies that make promises to make your debt disappear overnight. Getting rid of debt is a marathon, not a sprint. It requires patience, guidance, and a plan. Getting out of debt is not impossible, but getting out of debt overnight is.

Cut excess spending

If you are serious about wiping out your debt, you need to cut all excess spending. This may require you to make sacrifices in your personal and social lives. Getting yourself out of debt may put a hindrance on your social life, but in the end, being debt-free will lead to less stress and a higher quality of life.

Cut excess spending - woman pulling twenty dollar bills out of her wallet

Consolidate your debt with a personal loan

Consolidate Debt with A Personal Loan - a man and woman looking over documents on a table together

If you have many debt accounts, it may be hard to keep track of who and how much you owe. In addition, owing multiple companies can result in paying interest on all of your accounts, if you are unable to pay the balance off in full. One option that may be able to help you avoid this is to apply for a personal loan. A personal loan could help you consolidate all or the majority of your debt accounts into one loan, which will make paying off your debt easier. In addition, a personal loan could help you avoid paying interest across multiple accounts, making it cheaper to pay off your debt. Lastly, since personal loan rates are typically lower than credit card rates, you could save a lot of money on interest charges.

Consolidate your credit card debt with a balance transfer credit card

If you have a high-rate credit card that you carry a balance on, you may be shocked to know what your interest rate is. Big bank and retail credit cards often times charge interest rates of over 25%, which can make paying off your debt a difficult task. Next time you get your credit card statement, check your interest rate. If you see upwards of 20%, consider applying for a low-rate Launch CU credit card.

Consolidate Credit Cards - Multiple credit cards in a waller

Final Word On How To Get Out Of Debt

Debt doesn’t have to be a never-ending downward spiral. There is a way out. You can get out of debt, you just need to make smart decisions based upon your current financial situation. Most importantly, if you have large amounts of credit card debt, stop spending on credit, and focus on paying off your outstanding balances. Also, check out our previous blog post for more tips on how to get out of debt. Remember, you are not alone in your debt. Launch CU is here to help in any way that we can. Our goal is to help you go beyond to reach your financial and life goals.

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