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My Credit Card is Maxed Out – What Can I Do?

Information verified correct on February 23rd, 2017

A maxed out credit card makes life more difficult and stressful. Therefore you need to figure out a plan on how to pay it off. We are going to discuss how to develop a plan and help with your maxed out credit card.

Stop Spending

The first thing you need to do is to stop spending! This is very important so you don™t keep adding to your debt. Don™t buy unnecessary items. Take you credit cards out of your wallet so you™re not tempted to pull it out at the store.

Another way to protect yourself from using your credit card is cut it up and put it in some water and freeze it. Either way you won™t be able to use it to purchase anything quickly. If you freeze it, then you will have to wait for it to de-thaw. During that time process, you should really think whether you need that item.

Create a Plan/Budget

After you stop spending on unnecessary items, sit down and create a plan and budget. Write down all your expenses and sort them by fixed expenses and variable expenses. You know your fixed expenses are things such as mortgage or rent, car payments, utilities, etc. Then document all of your variable expenses such as gas, groceries, restaurants, etc.

Next you need to take your income and budget it out for each of these expenses. Now that you have a budget created, see if you have any money left or if you have over budgeted your income.

If you have extra money, then all of that should be put towards either creating a savings account or paying off your credit cards. It™s important to create a savings account, if you already don™t have one. This extra money will help you if something unplanned for develops. It may seem difficult to put money into savings while you still have a lot of credit card debt but it™s important.

Take a small amount of what is left from your budget and place it in a savings account. The rest of it should be used to pay off your credit cards.

If you have over-budgeted your income, then you need to look carefully at each of your expenses and see where you can cut back. This is important to do, whether you have over-budgeted yourself or not. Can you stop eating out three times a week and eat out once a week instead?

What about taking your lunch to work, so you™re not buying lunch every day? You can also use coupons for your groceries so you don™t spend as much. Maybe you need to cut back on shopping for clothes or electronics. These are just a few examples of ways you can cut back. You need to cut back to where you can pay all your fixed and variable expenses and then have some left over to pay off credit cards and put into your savings account.

Balance Transfer Offers

Rates last updated February 23rd, 2017
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Offers 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for 18 months to help you manage your existing credit card balance with a reduced annual fee in the first year.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
Receive a low introductory offer of 0% p.a. on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Also, enjoy an annual fee waiver in the first year.
0% p.a. for 3 months (reverts to 19.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
Citi Rewards Credit Card - Platinum Card
A long term balance transfer offer with the Citi Rewards Platinum Card. Earn extra points on overseas spend and includes travel insurance.
20.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with 1.5% balance transfer fee $49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card. Also enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer rate for 12 months.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Premium Card
Benefit from premium credit card advantages including travel insurance, Platinum Concierge Service plus 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 24 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $90 p.a. Go to site More info
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Visa Credit Card
Enjoy a low annual fee combined with 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 12 months and 0% p.a. for up to 6 months on purchases.
0% p.a. for 6 months (reverts to 13.24% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 12 months $55 p.a. Go to site More info
Virgin No Annual Fee Credit Card
Enjoy a long term balance transfer plus a $100 cashback offer (spend criteria applies) and never pay an annual fee for this card.
18.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 2% balance transfer fee $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Low Rate Credit Card
This card comes with a balance transfer offer, a low interest rate and up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
13.25% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months with 2% balance transfer fee $55 p.a. Go to site More info

Perform a balance transfer to a new credit card

If you have a high interest rate, it is sometimes hard to pay more than the minimum balance. Look to see if there is another card with a lower interest rate. Once you find a credit card with a lower interest rate, see if that credit card company will allow you to transfer your balance. Sometimes there will be promotional rates which only last for a certain amount of time and then are raised to a much higher interest rate. Watch out for these and try to pay it off before the promotion ends.

While having a maxed out credit card is no fun, it is possible to get out debt. But it™s important that you start immediately by not spending any more money and creating a plan and budget. These two things are essential in your quest to pay off your debt. You can pay off your debt, sometimes it just takes time, but it is possible.

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