Paying Off Credit Cards

Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 163 Posts
October 12, 2012

Stack of Credit CardsIf you are serious about paying off your credit card and have the extra money in your budget, I have found this simple solution very helpful and effective but you have to be serious about paying them off and stay on track.


I have 2 credit cards in my name only. I did this because I wanted my own credit score to go up and stay up. I have decided I wanted to pay them off in 18 months. I simply check the box that has your credit card payoff amounts in it. Usually there is one that says by paying the minimum, you can pay such and such amount every month. The next box gives you the option to pay it off in 3 years. I take the 3 year amount and divide it by 2 and then add the amount back into it and that is the amount I need to pay every month for 18 months.

To clarify: say I have the option of paying the minimum with $20.00 every month for 29 years. The 3 year payoff is $102.00. Divide the $102 in half and it gives you $51.00. Now add back on the 102.00 and you get $153.00. If you stick with this plan and don't use the credit card for the entire 18 months you are completely debt free.

Should an emergency arise and you have to use the credit card then try this: Say the amount you added to it was $40.00. Take the $153.00 and add the $40.00 back in and you have $193.00 that needs to be paid off from your emergency. This way you can stay on schedule and pay the complete debt off in 18 months. You have to be very sincere in your quest for being debt free in order for this to work. And in the end you will feel so much better knowing you do not owe anything to anyone and your credit score has just popped up some extra points.


Good luck to you.

By gem from Gordonsville, VA

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January 17, 2011

I've been reading "sticky-notes" ideas and was reminded of one of my own uses. I use the smallest notes. Then I stick them to my credit cards with a notation of the available balance remaining on that card.


September 22, 2006

If your credit card debt is getting out of hand, the first thing you need to do is stop using your credit cards. Many people get into the mindset of "I'll pay it off later" or "I'm already in debt, what will a little debt hurt?".


April 10, 2006

When paying off credit cards, always round up payments as much as you can. If the minimum payment is $25, try to pay $30. Credit card companies set minimum payments to maximize the amount of interest they can earn from you over the life of the debt.


April 13, 2005

To avoid late payment fees and possible interest rate increases on your credit cards, make sure to send in your payment 7-10 days before the payment due date. Late payments on one credit card can increase fees and interest rates on your other credit cards.



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

July 31, 2005

I'm new to this site and I've read the other posts on this subject but still can't find help. I'm 26, disabled and only receive a monthly income of 777.00. Before, (when I was stupid with money) I racked up a lot of charges and now I am in debt for about $4,000. I am having a lot of trouble paying even the minimum payment after bills, rent, food, etc. I don't have it.

The interest rates are at 27-29% on 2 credit cards. I get calls constantly but feel so bad that I don't answer anymore. I don't know what to do. I have tried to get state services for rent but still pay 400.00. I have no help from family or friends.

Is there a way that I can eliminate the interest charges altogether and only pay what I charged? I was told I had to have at least 9 months of minimum payments on time for them to even consider lowering the interest rate. The cards I do get approved for in the mail never have a low rate for balance transfers and I supposed the limit wouldn't be the amount I owe.

Thank you for your help and responses in advance,

Stacey from Texas


August 1, 20050 found this helpful

You may want to check out the following sites, they have been of great help for me and built my confidence up in dealing with collectors



August 1, 20050 found this helpful

do you have to pay for thier services? I've heard of places where you end up paying alot of "fees" for them to consolidate your debt. Are there any free ones.. totally free?
thanks for the sites though

By Levada (Guest Post)
August 1, 20050 found this helpful

Stacey, I assume from the disability amount you get that you are on permanent disability. This means a couple of things...your income is not going to change unless you get HUD housing and get a big break you will never have enough to make the payments the credit card companies want you to pay. The good news is that they can't do much about the lack of payment. Disability can not be attached to pay a debt.


So you have a choice at this point, to not pay anything, or write a letter explaining your situation, and make whatever small payment amount you can. Your credit is already messed up, and with that low disability income, it is not likely anyone will give you credit again. The credit card companies are going to want to know what payments they can get, since they are pretty much stuck at this point.

I am sorry to hear you are on disability at such a young age, that is a tough break. Email me if you would like, I have some other stuff to tell you. Levada

By (Guest Post)
August 1, 20050 found this helpful

Get the Sunday paper and in the glossy coupon pullouts, there are always ads for 0% interest with a new card. If you don't qualify (I don't know the terms) give your local credit union or bank a call. They may be able to set up a loan and their interest is much lower.


Never, ever pay for debt restructure or anything like that. Find your local Consumer Credit Counseling and they will help you for FREE.

Best to you

August 1, 20050 found this helpful

You want to go with a Consumer Credit Counselors affiliate agency. They are a non profit agency and most credit card companies will honor their plans. They will help you set up a repayment plan that stops/reduces interest on the cards as long as you pay each month. Here is a website for the Dallas affliate:

As far as the calls go you can and you should tell them not to call anymore. By law if you tell them that they must stop calling. They can still send letters but no calls. If they call again after you have told them not to report them to the FCC.

By Linda Valentine (Guest Post)
August 2, 20050 found this helpful

I was in the same spot you are. I was being harrassed so much by creditors that I was becoming badly stressed and not helping my medical problems. I finally went bankrupt. I had to pay the attorney a little each month for the amount of only $250 to go bankrupt. There is no shame in going bankrupt, you ran up the bills at a time you could pay them. You cannot help what's happened since then. I urge you to go ahead and do it. You'll sure sleep better afterwards. I know I did.

August 2, 20050 found this helpful

You don't have to pay for anything on those links below- they are free and the forums are great for help. Don't pay anyone for what can be done yourself with effort.

You will be glad you did

By Charlene (Guest Post)
August 3, 20050 found this helpful

I am currently using CareOneCreditServices for my debt reduction program. It's over the internet, but free (if you can't afford to "contribute"). They managed to cut my interest rates down from 25% to 8%, so that I'm actually paying the principle amount.

Their website is:

By Cynthia (Guest Post)
August 5, 20050 found this helpful

If the $4,000.00 is from credit cards if you do not pay eventually the credit card companies will sue you. And if you pay the 25% on $4,000.00is $1,000.00 and then you debt is $5,000.00 and add another $1,250.00 for interest that is of course less any payments made. Filing Bankruptcy under Chaper 7 would discharge those debt and give you the protection of the automatic stay which after you file means those creditors cannot contact you again. Forget the debt consolidations, just add more debt in terms of fees.

By Kara (Guest Post)
August 13, 20050 found this helpful

I would recommend that you try to work out some kind of repayment plan with the cc companies if they are willing. However, if they refuse, you may want to consider filing for bankruptcy since you are unable to pay of the cc debt and do not have income the cc companies can go after. Also, if you have been disabled for 24 consecutive months you may be able to have the cc debt discharged if you have disability protection on those accounts. Good Luck.

By (Guest Post)
October 15, 20050 found this helpful

A credit counselor can get the rates lowered and also cut your bill in half. Search the internet, Care One, is a good one. They can definitely help you. Good luck!

By walmart greeter (Guest Post)
December 2, 20050 found this helpful

I owe 20.000 in credit card debt. I was out of work for 2 years and paid My bills with cash advances. Just got back to work?

By irlande (Guest Post)
July 26, 20060 found this helpful

Here is the life saving organization. In a second they can take all your pain away.

By dave (Guest Post)
March 11, 20070 found this helpful

i'm 30,000. in credit card debt. i'm 100% disabled do to diagnoised combat related ptsd & major depression by the veterans administration & social security disability.
what should i do? please help

By Danuta Szczypinski Eddanuta AT (Guest Post)
March 13, 20080 found this helpful

I'm disabled and my husband is retired. We have very low income. Our credit card debt is about 100.000.00. We stopped paying creditors. So far they call all day and ask for money. How long they will be call? What happens after few months if they not received payment? What will be the next step what they can do to us? Our house, no market, is worth less what we own to the mortgage company. Please give answer. Thank You. DAN.

By Molly (Guest Post)
January 23, 20090 found this helpful

Can the credit card companies attach my assets - furniture, jewelery etc if I cannot pay my credit card?

October 19, 20120 found this helpful

I have been in this situation, and it is very stressful! First and foremost you must remember that when a credit card collector threatens you, 95% of the time it is bluff. I have been round and round with these folks and there only goal when they call is to get a payment from you, and they will do whatever they can to do it.

Sometimes they break the law to do it, so you must know your rights and what the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states that collectors can and cannot do. Google it and educate yourself! Like I said I have been in this situation and have learned how to handles these people. They are not your friend, they are a person sitting in a cubicle somewhere, and have probably been on the job for a month or so.

Insist that you must pay your basics like shelter, food, transportation first. Then you tell them you can only pay what you can pay. They will take less than the minimum, but you must be persistent! Also you may be able to get them to charge off your account. That will close the account and stop interest. It will be a hit on your credit, but nothing you can't recover from. Get the debt cleaned up and build up a cash reserve for emergencies!

Answer this Question

September 9, 2008

When working on repaying my credit cards faster than minimum payments, am I better off paying $10.00 a week more or the same amount once a month? Thanks.

Penny from Michigan


By Estella (Guest Post)
September 10, 20080 found this helpful

If you have internet banking so you don't pay postage, then definitely pay the $10 every week. The interest is charged every single day, so you will save some money, also you won't have that $10 so you won't be tempted to spend it.

Internet banking is free, and so easy. I even pay my brother and sister that way, to distribute a small inheritance that comes in every month. You don't have to set it up as an automatic payment if you don't want to, it only takes a few seconds to go in and order the payment every week.

Congratulations on doing this. Being debt-free is an amazing feeling. Do you get the Debt-Free Living free newsletter? If not, sign up for it. It's got good info and motivation.

September 10, 20080 found this helpful

The quicker you reduce the amount the better as the interest is charged on the amount left over at the end of the month or payment cycle - I would recommend being flexible depending on what other payments you need to make that month - have a set amount that you won't go below but like say $10 or $15 over and above the minimum but then if you can afford it put more in do so. If you just keep paying the minimum amount the debt never gets paid and any savings made at sales using the credit card is negated

September 10, 20080 found this helpful

Credit cards are "revolving" monthly. So I don't think that making a payment every week is going to help; however, if that's the only way that you're sure to make the extra payments, by all means go ahead and do it. But adding up your extra money every week and sending it in monthly with the bill would be the same. But then again, you might want to check with your credit card company. Because it seems that with some companies interest might be charged on a daily average and if you're paying week by week, your daily average would be smaller.

If you get offers in the mail, occasionally you can transfer your balance over to a 0% interest that can last for a whole year. Sometimes there is no transfer fee. If there is one, it is usually 3% of your balance. And depending on how much you owe, sometimes the transfer fee is cheaper than paying your current interest for a year. You must make sure that you are never, ever, ever late though with a payment for the 0% rate to stay in force.

I transferred a balance once and paid the transfer fee and made one payment. The next month was when we had our famous ice storm of 2007 and even though I had the money in our account to pay the statement when it came, with all the confusion of the ice storm, I totally forgot it. I was two days late and the company upped my rate to something like 15%. They refused to "forgive" the lateness.

Luckily the very next month I received another offer with 0% interest and no transfer fee (they do not come along very often), so I took advantage of it.

It is nice to know that 100% of my payment goes to pay off the principle of the balance for the time being.


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
September 10, 20080 found this helpful

It will depend on each card and how much extra you can swing a month ...

Let's say you have four cards and each have a balance due of $1,000.00 and each card is asking for a minimum payment of $50.00 per month ...

Card one charges 18 APR, the next, 20 APR, the next 22 APR and the last 24 APR ...

Based on those figures, what I did in the past was to add at least an 'extra' fifty to each card PLUS the added charged in interest for that month ... This way, I was 'getting ahead' as far as reducing the amount owed and the interest charges went down immensley in no time at all ...

Those bills were completely paid off in just a little over a year based on the debt amounts I mentioned above ...

No matter what, pay as much extra as you can above the requested minimum payment or else you'll be paying on those cards for years and years to come :-(

I now only use those cards in case of an emergency or convenience and pay them in full each month so not a penny of interest is charged :-)

By chris (Guest Post)
September 10, 20080 found this helpful

Most credit cards charge interest on the remaining balance, each month. When I need to pay them off over time, I look for the interest & add as much as i can, usually, for me, it's $100 plus interest so whatever amount u add to the minimum is to the good.

By (Guest Post)
September 11, 20080 found this helpful

A word of caution:
I often pay credit card bills before the due date and make extra payments when I get extra cash.
Recently, I paid a bill ONE DAY too EARLY for thier system. They didn't count it toward that month's minimum payment. Even though I had payed more than 100 dollars over the minimum payment, I got a late notice. When I called, they removed the late fee but advised me that I can not pay more than 10 days before the due date. Now, I think that's pretty rotten as they tell you to allow 7 days for processing. But, you've got to play their game. So, I make the minimum payment (at least) just before the due date and then make other payments as I have the money. I really can't wait to be rid of this bill!

By candy (Guest Post)
September 14, 20080 found this helpful

I recently was trying to figure out who to pay what when and how much extra - I found - they have a section paying of credit cards that you enter how many bills you want to pay off, how much the interest rate is the minimum payment and how much extra you can afford a month. Then it calculates for you where to send the extra and when telling you how long it will be before you are debt free. It is nice to know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We have 23 months and we should be free.

September 26, 20080 found this helpful

If you have multiple cards, you can do what is called a snowball. You pay the minimums on all cards but one, and pay as MUCH as you can toward that one card until that card is paid off. Then you take the payment you were making on that card, and add it to the next one.

The order in which you snowball depends on whether you want to get out of debt the fastest, or pay the least in finance charges. Some people attack the lowest balance first, since that will result a nice psychological boost. Others pay the debt with the highest APR first, cuz its the most expensive. You would have to work it out mathematically to see how these options break out.

---Credit cards are "revolving" monthly---

Many credit cards compound DAILY, and some use 2-cycle billing to maximize how much they charge you. Some cards also start charging interest from the moment you make a purchase, not just based on the statement balance.

I agree that there is not going to be a large difference between making extra payments each week.

---If you have internet banking so you don't pay postage---

I recommend making the payment through the card issuers website, not your banks.

You could try playing the 0%/balance transfer game, but if you haven't solved the problem which got you into debt in the first place, you may just be tempted to run the cards back up again. Pay a lot of attention to the terms and fees also.

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