In theory, a credit card should offer a relatively safe and straightforward way to get the cash you need to buy nice things, go on holiday or pay off alternative debts. Some credit cards will even offer 0% APR for the first year, meaning they’re essentially offering ‘buy now, pay later’ agreements with no downside! That means you can keep the money in the back, gaining interest and manage your cash flow much better.
But theory and practice are often two different things. It only takes for a sudden expense to come along unexpectedly for you to struggle to meet your repayments. This is when the late fees come in and when the APR starts to creep up as you take longer to pay the full amount back.
The way many people react to this problem? By taking out more loans. Of course that’s not the answer however and very often it simply results in them ending up buried by tons of debt and unable to get their head above water.
So what should you do if you find yourself in lots of credit card debt? Here are some options…
Move Your Debt
The first thing to do is to make sure that the debt doesn’t grow any bigger than it needs to. Often, this is going to mean transferring your debt to another credit card. As we just mentioned, a lot of credit cards will offer 0% APR for the first year, so if yours isn’t doing that, then it makes sense to transfer your debt and stop gaining excess interest.
If you can’t find 0% APR, then just transfer to the lowest interest rates that you can.
Discuss Loan Restructuring
Restructuring a loan means discussing the payback schedule and generally finding a way to make it better suited to your lifestyle and requirements. Most banks will be happy to let you restructure your loan, as this way you will be more likely to pay the full amount of money back! If you explain that you’re struggling, then some banks will even freeze interest and do other things to help make your life a little easier.
Discuss this with a member of your bank and don’t be shy to ask!
The time the loan will take to be paid out in full can vary from the date of your application this is all dependent on what checks the lender themselves would like to make if they are happy with the details that we have provided them directly and do not feel the urge to make any more checks your loan can be paid out as quick as three days on occasions lender does reserve the right to check the credit for make any additional checks that they feel is necessary to provide you with the best service this can cause a slight delay on lending terms this can sometimes push it up to 5 to 6 days.
Please note that all lenders will require you to provide some earnings proof i.e. a bank statement or a wage slip proof identification to be a driving licence or passport and your banking details so they can make sure they bet the right person you don’t go through all this and having them paid to the wrong person.
Create a Budget!
This sounds very simple but it can make a huge difference to your ability to pay off your debt. Simply create a spreadsheet for yourself that shows your income and all of your monthly outgoings that can’t be avoided. This will give you a good idea of exactly how much money you’re getting to keep at the end of each month, which in turn will let you know if you can afford your repayments.
If you can’t, then you just need to find a way to work those numbers. That might mean cancelling your Virgin Media or your gym subscription. Or it might mean teaching the neighbours’ kids to play the piano!
If you’re still unable to pay off your debt, then you should consider asking for help from a family member or a close friend. This is a very uncomfortable thing to have to do but most good friends would rather help you out than let you get yourself into more and more debt!