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5 Ways to Pay Off Credit Card Debt Before Interest Rates Go Up

New research suggests that there may be a credit card debt crisis as more Americans miss payments and use their cards to the limit.
Cover Image Source: Photo by Mikhail Nilov | Pexels
Cover Image Source: Photo by Mikhail Nilov | Pexels

For many Americans, using credit cards is a major issue, particularly because of the high interest rates that cause debt to accumulate quickly. The average interest rate on a credit card is currently close to 22%. It is easy for people to accumulate significant debt because of this high credit card interest rate. A possible debt disaster is hinted at by recent data which indicates that more people are skipping payments and using all their credit limits on their cards. Credit card debt is riskier to have because of the high interest rate environment. The Federal Reserve has maintained a 20-year high for its main interest rate to curb inflation, which raises borrowing costs. Since inflation is still high, predictions of many analysts that rates would decline in the middle of the year have changed. Some now think the Fed might not lower rates at all this year.

Image Source: Photo by Cup of  Couple | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by Cup of Couple | Pexels

If inflation stays above the 2% target, rates might rise even more. This would make credit card interest rates rise, worsening the debt problem. So, if you have credit card debt, it's important to pay it off now before rates possibly increase further. Here are a few ways you can pay off your credit card debt ahead of any prospective interest rate increase:

One wise strategy to manage your debt and reduce interest is to combine all of your credit card debts into a single fixed payment at a discounted interest rate. Traditional debt consolidation loans from banks, credit unions, online lenders, or debt relief agencies are your options. You use these loans to settle your credit card debt before gradually repaying the amount.

The primary advantage is that paying off your debt is more affordable because the interest rates are far lower than those of regular credit cards. To be eligible for the best rates though, you must have excellent credit. While they might still be eligible, people with weaker credit scores might pay higher rates which would lessen the savings.

An air traveller uses a credit card to pay for items at a John F. Kennedy International Airport | Getty Images | Photo by Robert Nickelsberg
Getty Images | Photo by Robert Nickelsberg

A debt management plan could assist you in becoming debt-free if you're having trouble managing your credit card debt and want to pay it off before interest rates increase. To reduce interest rates and eliminate fees and penalties, the debt relief organization of your choice will negotiate directly with your credit card providers under this plan. The agency receives a single monthly payment from you, which is then divided among your creditors until the balance is settled. Although this isn't as bad as debt settlement, there are typically costs associated with it, and initially, it may damage your credit score.

Numerous large credit card firms provide hardship programs to assist customers facing difficult circumstances. It could be beneficial to inquire about the many forms of assistance these programs provide, such as waived fees, cheaper interest rates, lowered minimum payments, and other modifications. These programs are designed to make it easier for you to pay the minimum amount due for a while, allowing you to pay off your debt more quickly until circumstances improve. Every organization has its policies regarding hardship help, and they will determine whether or not to approve you based on the details of your case.

Image Source: Photo by | Pexels
Image Source: Photo by | Pexels

To manage your credit card debt and prevent future high interest rates, speaking with a non-profit credit counseling organization can be beneficial. These organizations offer impartial financial counseling. Their counselors may help you create a healthier budget, recommend strategies that meet your needs, and even handle debt settlement with creditors. They can create strategies that work for you if all you need assistance with is budgeting to pay off your debt. Furthermore, for individuals who qualify, meeting with these agencies may not cost anything at all. See what they can accomplish for you by checking them out.

You must take action regarding your credit card debt, particularly if you don't want it to worsen, given the high interest rates and unstable state of the economy. You'll be safer against future rate rises that could make it even harder to pay off your debt if you create a strategy to pay it off as soon as possible. Thus, begin considering your options and select the one that best fits your needs.