credit card statements

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

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 December 12th, 2017
Name Product Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Product Description
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
Platinum card benefits plus 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers (with no BT fee) and $0 annual fee in the first year. Ends 13 December 2017.
NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 25 months
$90 p.a.
Exclusive to finder.com.au, enjoy a no BT fee, 0% balance transfer offer for 25 months and seven complimentary insurance covers.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save with 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers, earn 3 bonus Velocity Points per $1 for the first 3 months and get a yearly $129 Gift Voucher.
Citi Platinum Credit Card - 100k Bonus Points
20.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$49 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
Earn 100,000 reward Points, enjoy a long-term balance transfer offer, a discounted first year annual fee and complimentary travel insurance.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card - Exclusive Offer
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)
Exclusive to finder, get 0% p.a. interest on purchases for 3 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 12 months. Ends 17 December 2017.
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 22 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$129 p.a.
Receive a 0% p.a. for 22 months balance transfer offer and earn 1 Reward Point per $1 of eligible spend. Plus, complimentary travel insurance.
St.George Vertigo Visa - Online Offer
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 18 months on balance transfers (with no BT fee). Plus, $0 annual fee in the first year. Ends 13 December 2017.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Online Only Balance Transfer Offer
13.49% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$59 p.a.
Take advantage of 0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers with a 2% balance transfer fee when you apply online by 31 January 2018.
Virgin Money Low Rate Credit Card
11.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$49 p.a.
Receive a discounted annual fee, $100 cashback when you meet the spend requirement and up to 14 months interest-free on balance transfers.
NAB Low Fee Card
19.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 16 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$30 p.a.
Receive complimentary purchase protection insurance, a 16 month balance transfer offer and special offers from Visa Entertainment.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$79 p.a.
Receive a long-term balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 24 months, a low ongoing purchase rate and up to 55 interest-free days on purchases.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Platinum
12.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Offers a long-term balance transfer, low ongoing purchase rate, complimentary travel insurance and access to a 24/7 personal concierge service.
NAB Low Rate Platinum Card
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.)
4.99% p.a. for 6 months
$100 p.a.
A platinum card that offers 0% p.a. for 9 months on purchases. Plus 4.99% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months.
Citi Rewards Platinum Credit Card
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)
Offers a long-term balance transfer. Earn extra points on eligible international spend, plus complimentary travel insurance.
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
19.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 14 months
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
Receive a $50 eGift Card when you meet the offer criteria, a 0% p.a. for 14 month balance transfer offer and a $0 first year annual fee.
Bankwest Breeze Platinum Mastercard
12.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 24 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$99 p.a.
Receive a 0% p.a. interest rate on balance transfers for 24 months, complimentary travel insurance and 0% foreign transaction fees.
BankSA Vertigo Visa
13.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a $0 first year annual fee and a 0% p.a. for 18 months balance transfer offer. Plus, up to 55 days interest-free on purchases.
American Express Essential Credit Card
14.99% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 3% balance transfer fee
$0 p.a.
Get Smartphone Screen Insurance of up to $500 when you pay for your phone or contract with this card. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.
American Express Explorer Credit Card
20.74% p.a.
0% p.a. for 12 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$395 p.a.
Receive a yearly $400 Travel Credit, 50,000 bonus points and up to 2 entries per year to the American Express Lounge at Sydney International Airport.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - 0% Interest Offer
0% p.a. for 14 months (reverts to 20.74% p.a.)
0% p.a. for 6 months
$129 p.a.
Save with 0% p.a. on purchases for 14 months and 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 6 months. Plus, earn up to 0.66 Velocity Points per $1 spent.

Compare up to 4 providers

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.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer
NAB Premium Card - Exclusive Offer

Interest rate

19.74

Annual fee

90
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer
St.George Vertigo Platinum - Online Offer

Interest rate

12.74

Annual fee

99
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card

Interest rate

19.99

Annual fee

49

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, read the PDS or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Ask a question