If you have credit card debt, the interest rate on that debt is likely much higher than the interest you are paying on other debts like a mortgage, car loan, or student loans. For that reason, paying down credit card debt is where you need to put your primary focus on debt reduction. For the highest cost savings, you should always pay off your debt with the highest interest rate first.  

To reduce credit card debt, you need to make sure you tackle paying down your debt and not adding on more debt.

  1. You need to spend less than you make, and you need to have enough left over to start paying down the accumulated debt.
  2. Starting today, you cannot allow yourself to take on any new debt. To keep the debt pile from growing, you must pay off any new credit card expenses each month, plus the interest/fee on the debt you have.
  3. The next step is to chip away at reducing the principle, your total amount owed.

Here are some tips to get started paying down credit card debt. 

  1. Start with a Budget – if you don’t know where and how you are saving your money, it will be a lot harder to make sure you are paying down your debt as quickly as possible.
  2. Get rid of all credit cards except for the one with the lowest interest rate; this includes all store cards. Cut up your cards and throw them out! 
  3. Switch to spending with cash instead of using a credit card at all. If you find it too tempting or don’t have time to use an app or budgeting sheet to make sure you don’t go over budget, then switching to cash offers the best way to make sure you don’t overspend.
  4. Consider a balance transfer – if you have a card with a high-interest rate, for example, 20%, you can transfer your balance to another card with a lower interest rate. Many balance transfer credit cards even offer a 0% introductory APR for some time (usually 6-18 months).