Tips for credit card debt
EDITOR’S NOTE One of the most difficult things to manage in a tough economy is your debt. With the average American household credit card debt hovering around $9,000 and credit card companies hammering customers with interest rates as high as 30 percent, paying your monthly bills can get harder and harder. Here are some tips to consolidate your debt and negotiate with your credit card company. When you're short on cash, it can be a tall order to face your credit card bill - especially if it's inflating at an alarming rate every month. Here are some tips for dealing with credit card debt: Stop hiding and make the call: The best first step is to face the music. This is because missing payments can be detrimental to your overall credit rating, which can negatively affect your ability to make bigger purchases and secure loans in the future. Talk to your credit card company sooner than later. Anyone can have financial difficulties, so don't be embarrassed to explain your situation honestly. Work it out: Most credit card issuers want to help you come up with a payment plan that satisfies both parties. Ask about the options, such as lowering your monthly payment, reducing your interest rate and waiving late fees and over charges. Stick to the game plan: Once you've ironed out an agreement with your credit card company, keep track of your account. An easy way is to set things up online, where you can access information easily from any computer, get e-mail updates about account activity and even notices about payment deadlines. Some issuers can set up automatic payment features, too. Stay the course: Once things are back on track, resolve to use credit wisely. For more information on credit and financial management and interactive tools, visit www.UseCredit Wisely.com.