Managing the Credit Card Balances – Good Advice Makes It Possible

stockfresh_1104622_falling-credit-cards_sizeS-300x200People, by now, realize they were perhaps a little bit too generous at Christmas time. The credit card statements have come in and the debt balances are higher than usual. This can be a direct threat to the financial wellness of some people. The credit card debt may already be substantial and they are paying double-digit interest rates on the balances.


The figures can be frightening and may lead to some drastic decisions. A person has to be cautious in dealing with credit card debt, however. Paying the monthly minimum is essential, but too much can leave a consumer strapped for cash and not able to fully pay other obligations. Some have no concept of a personal budget and are floundering. Credit card balances can be managed and can be lowered. It requires a little strategy along with frugality.


You Need a Budget


Anyone who is trying to tackle a credit card bill must understand where the money is coming from and where it is going to in domestic finances. Living from paycheck to paycheck is the worst strategy. Once an individual understands the cash flow, and what the monthly income and expenses are, then he or she can take advantage of several tactics to eliminate credit card problems.


Some Helpful Ideas


A person’s bank account can be restored to financial wellness without having to live in poverty. Some suggestions have proven to be successful.


*Understand The Annual Percentage Rate (APR). The APR is the interest rate charged on credit card balances. An individual can decide to concentrate on those credit cards which have a higher APR figure. It requires paying a little bit more than the monthly minimum, but cards with the high-interest rates can be paid off.


*Concentrate on the Balances. It doesn’t mean paying off the highest balances first. As a matter of fact, it makes more sense to pay off the cards that have lower balances. This frees up cash to address the cards where spending has gotten a little bit out of control.


*Monthly Payment Tactics That Work. We already mentioned concentrating on cards with the higher APR and those with the lowest balances. How a person pays credit card debt can have a positive impact.


For example, there is no need to pay the monthly bill at one time. An individual can pay the required minimum at the beginning of the month and then pay the rest in the middle of the month. That lowers the amount of interest accrued in the month and will gradually reduce the overall interest payments.


*Negotiate the Interest Rates. Do not assume that this cannot be done. Credit card companies don’t like having to do that, but they may be willing to lower interest rates to keep you.


Financial Wellness Advice Can Help


Countrywide Pre-Paid Legal Services understands how frustrated people can be with credit cards. These pieces of plastic are necessary but paying them can be a real burden. Countrywide offers a way to assist a person in developing a sensible payment strategy.


We have a nationwide network of certified counselors who deal with financial wellness issues. There is a counselor located in the community of a Countrywide client organization and a face-to-face meeting can be arranged with the counselor.


This professional will point out various ways of dealing with credit card debt. A Countrywide budget analysis identifies the cash flow and the counselor uses that data to help a person create a payment plan. Other Countrywide services add essential support to the effort.


We have client organizations tell us what they want in the financial wellness plan. That way, all employees can benefit from Countrywide assistance. A plan member can expect to be treated as an adult and have problems resolved by the Countrywide counselor. 


If you have any questions about our financial wellness benefit, please feel free to contact us. There is much we can do to help your employees deal with their everyday finances.