All across the U.S., millions of American cardholders are struggling to pay off their mounting credit debts. In fact, the average household owes a little more than $9,000 in debt to card companies. A growing percentage of families are also becoming increasingly dependent on credit cards for their basic needs. This has prompted many financial experts and analysts to reiterate their calls for better fiscal management and increased awareness among the cardholders.
The economic slump and the severed credit crunch have also forced many card issuers to slash credit limits and raise fees in anticipation of more losses. As a result, millions of cardholders have to contend with more expenses and higher debts. The credit line cuts have also resulted in significant credit score reductions because the consumers' debt-to-limit ratios have increased significantly.
However, some steps can be made to mitigate rising credit debts. These methods are often considered as some of the best solutions to debts incurred through credit cards. Experts warn, however, that not all cardholders can avail of the same methods. Some methods are best suited for a consumer who's financial and debt situation can be remedied by a particular solution.
The first solution, called debt consolidation, is one of the most popular debt-reduction methods among consumers. By consolidating all existing card debts into a single monthly payment system with a lower interest rate, cardholders can save money by paying relatively less for their outstanding balances. Consumers have to aware, of course, if the current average interest rates of their cards are higher than those of the debt consolidation plans. For cardholders with substantial debts, however, a debt consolidation loan may be the only solution. They can then take out a personal loan with a lower interest rate to pay off their outstanding balances in a single payment. Cardholders will then have to contend with paying off their loans, though with much lower interest rates.
Another hands-on approach to credit card debt reduction would be consumer credit counseling. Cardholders with considerable debts can consult financial experts and advisers to help them rein in their spending and take charge of their finances. Consultants would often assess the financial situation of the consumers and develop a monthly budget that would serve as a guide for the cardholders.
The last method, debt settlement, involves the presence of an arbitrator to act as an intermediary between the consumer and the card companies. Debt settlement companies would often negotiate with banks and card issuers to reduce the debts owed by their clients by 50 percent or in some cases, as much as 75 percent. The goal of debt settlement goes beyond reducing monthly payments. In the end, cardholders may get to pay only a fourth of their original debts.