cardpileCredit cards make up a large part of the spending in society. But as convenient as they are, it is far too easy to rack up a tremendous debt from them. In 2011, the average household had almost $15,000 in credit card debt. If you find yourself drowning in statements, here are some ways to pay off your debt faster.

Tactic #1: Ask for a discount

It sounds simple, but credit card companies issue them all the time. Calling them and explaining that you need help to get out from under the debt is a signal to them that they need to listen. Ask how much you can settle for if paid in full. True, this gives them a discount off of the balance, but they are also guaranteed to get their money now. Considering the amount of accounts that have to be written off each year, it could be very appealing to them.

Tactic #2: Ask for a reduction in interest

We all know that credit card companies make a mint just off of interest. They love it when you only make the minimum payment because it means more interest for them.

Asking for a cut in interest doesn’t affect the balance, but it means that more of your payment will go towards principal. Even if they won’t lower your balance, they will often lower your interest rate. If you have 5 cards and 2 of them say no, that’s still 3 that can be paid down quicker.

Tactic #3: Gang Up On It

Maximize your dollars spent on credit cards. (1) Pick the card with the lowest balance. (2) Make it a point to throw everything that you have at it. You will be amazed at how quickly it will be paid off. (3) Take that entire payment and apply it to the next lowest card. (4) Repeat steps 1 through 3.

Tactic #4: Transfer

Credit card offers will typically come with incredibly low introductory interest rates. Some can even be 0 percent- at least for a short time. Open one of these accounts and transfer your balance from another card. If you are used to paying 30 percent on your old card, and your new one starts you out at 5 percent, you can use the difference that would have gone to interest towards the principal.

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