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3 answers for eliminating credit card debt

Credit card debt is one of the biggest reasons for filing bankruptcy. While bankruptcy is a legal and viable lifeline for those trapped in a mountain of debt, CNN Money recommends these three solutions for resolving common questions about debt.

Which credit card do I pay off first?

After paying the minimum on all the cards, there are two approaches on where you want to put the extra money. Some people want to tackle the card with the biggest balance or the highest interest. Others want to get rid of the smaller debts before they take on the big ones. The settling the big debts lessens the overall amount of interest you pay, but many get discouraged because the difficulty of this approach.

Do I close cards after I pay them off?

Closing credit cards that have been paid off can actually hurt your credit score. Keeping them increases your credit history and highlights a positive resolution. Since there is no balance on the card, the only problem is dealing with the temptation of using the card or paying fees. If you feel the need to close some of the cards, don’t close them immediately and keep the ones with the longest history.

Do I have the resources to do it?

It’s important to be realistic about whether you can pay the credit cards off in a reasonable amount of time. During this time, it is also advisable to also have a little bit of savings in case of an emergency – unforeseen expenses or an emergency are reasons many fall into debt. The idea is to break the cycle of debt and paying it off.

Crunching the numbers

Some individuals simply do not make enough money to pay off the debt they’ve accrued. Rather than punishing oneself by fighting a losing battle, filing bankruptcy can provide a fresh start. Attorneys who handle bankruptcy can be a knowledgeable resource in determining the right plan for those facing debt.

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William T. Peckham
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