Winning the Credit Card Game
By Michael and Tawra Kellam
We were able to pay off $20,000 in debt in 5 years on $22,000 a year
income by taking advantage of low interest rate credit card offers.
We saved $67,000 in interest on that $20,000 by using low or no
interest offers to our advantage.
All it took was a few 5 minute phone calls. Making the calls and
getting lower credit card rates can be a great help to getting your
debt paid off fast. The only catch is you have know the game and how
to play it.
Please note: This is only going to work if you have your spending
under control! If you don't, then don't bother messing with it. In
other words, if you freed up some credit and then couldn't resist
going out and maxing-out your cards again, then don't waste your time
with this because you will make your situation worse.
Step 1: Don't become overwhelmed by the amount of your debt. Take it
one day at a time. You have no doubt heard the saying, "How do you
eat an elephant? One bite at a time." Concentrate on the bite you're
chewing on right now. Don't worry about contributing to your kid's
college fund when your house is about to be foreclosed.
Step 2: Know What You Owe. List all debts (credit cards, loans,
etc.). Be sure to list creditor, balance, interest rate, and minimum
payment. This is found on your statements you receive each month.
Step 3: Deal with Creditors. Start answering the phone and dealing
with the creditors! Better yet call them FIRST as soon as you know
you can't pay a bill! If you call them as soon as you realize you
can't pay a bill in full, they are much more willing to work with you
than if you just don't pay it. Call them and tell them that you can't
pay the bill in full this month and why (lay off, medical problems,
whatever). Ask if you can spread it out over a period of time. Then,
ALWAYS PAY SOMETHING.
Step 4: Ask for a lower interest rate. Most people will find that at
least one or two of their credit cards will reduce their rates if
they simply ask. If you ask a company to lower your rate and they say
"no," don't take it personally. Remember, it's not personal-it's just
business. Call the next company.
If companies won't reduce your interest rate because your credit is
poor, make all your payments on time for 6 months and then ask again.
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