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How-to Guides » OLD GUIDE Pay off credit card debts

How to destroy your credit card debt quickly and effectively.

Cut the cost of your debt

How-to Guide Tips 16 tips on this task  | 

1) Get a 0%  balance transfer credit card

If you’ve got a lot of debt on your credit card and it's earning a chunky rate of interest, it’s time to reduce it! Transfer your debt onto a 0% balance transfer credit card and you won't pay any interest on the balance for a set period of up to 16 months.

Just make sure you've either paid off your debt by then, or managed to switch it to another 0% card.

Compare 0% balance transfer credit cards with lovemoney.com

2) Get a lifetime deal

If you think you might not be able to clear your balance that quickly, transfer your debt to a lifetime balance transfer card instead. This type of credit card offers a low rate of interest for as long as it takes you to clear your balance.

Just remember that you're still paying interest, so it's important you clear your debt as quickly as possible.

Finally, if you are struggling to get rid of your debt, and need a few hints and tips on how to get into the habit or what to cut back to give you that extra bit of cash each month, why not ask a question using our Q&A tool? You may find that other members of lovemoney.com have experiences they can share which will help you.

Compare credit cards with lovemoney.com

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Tips on this task (16)

  • PigeonFancier
    Love rating 0
    PigeonFancier said

    I have two high interest credit cards, Vanquis & capital one, both i use and pay... i wish to get a normal card so i pay off the debt, not lots of interest.... strange how other companies see me as a risk, even without missed payments

    Report on 14 December 2009  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • iloveoldkeywest
    Love rating 3
    iloveoldkeywest said

    I feel once you are a 'bad credit risk' customer, always one!!! We have had bad credit for a few years and it seems impossible to lose the tag! We are really struggling to get out of the 'tag' and if some credit cards would give a bit more leeway, instead of making us pay more interest, it may take us less time to be more solvent!

    I too would love the chance at a 0% credit transfer card, but it's not going to happen - so we too will continue to struggle with the Vanquis and capital one cards we have!

    Report on 13 February 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • abe-lincoln
    Love rating 2
    abe-lincoln said

    I myself got into a bit of a pickle with a couple of credit cards. Since then i have perform plastic surgery, and is now paying back one credit card. It is not an easy road to travel, and i can promise you i am not going back there. I am coming out of this mess, it took me seconds to get in debt, and i know it will take some time to get out, but i am determined to stick with it, and do all i need to do to be debt free.

    Report on 08 June 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • sh8a
    Love rating 0
    sh8a said

    Having one of the 0% cards would be a great help in getting out of the mess I got myself into with credit cards. I am paying off my card gradually but it is slow but I need to just keep paying as much as I can. Hey guys we will get out of this.  

    Report on 09 June 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • wonga
    Love rating 0
    wonga said

    Any tips three cards 13 k debt good credit rating

    Report on 15 June 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • MapMonster
    Love rating 1
    MapMonster said

    hi there i spoke to my credit card company the other day i thought also that i had a good credit rating as i did a 0% transfer 8 mths ago and was given a good amount on balance transfer

    and at the same time managed to negotiate low rates with other card providers

    the debt was manageable as they were low rate / i set up direct debits to pay min amount so as not to incurr late fees etc

    now the interest rates are going up and have been informed that one card is going to put the rate up again in august 9.9% to 21.9% in 12 mths !

    so gets on the phone to card provider in mumbai ask for a lower rate and get told they cant do it so i play the "i will pay off the card trick" expecting to speak to their loyalty team and get the best rate again only to have my account closed so no new purchases and have current rate until balance paid off 

    spoke to card provider 2 who was very helpful and explained some of their warning signals

    dont only pay the min amount make an extra payment

    they dont like your balance increasing even thought they have incresed the limit

    they dont like you owing a large percentage of you credit limit

    hope this helps others

    Report on 29 June 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • cazza10
    Love rating 0
    cazza10 said

    I have tried to join various of these 0% credit cards but keep getting refused! I have checked my credit rating on experion and I have a fair rating showing no late payments at all so I don't understand why I keep getting refused. :(

    Report on 29 June 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • MapMonster
    Love rating 1
    MapMonster said

    well im reeally pleased with all the hard work ive put into my financial health check

    just paid off my halifax credit card in full and have done it before the next statement is printed 2 july so have the added bonus of interest free on last months purchases which was quite an amount as id just paid my annual car insurance

    then spoke to halifax retentions team and they were really helpful and have just done a balance transfer from barclaycard 0% for 9mths

    and must remember to pay more than the min amount

    would have liked it too be longer but now have to make sure the money earns more than the balance transfer fee and can pay off the card in 9mths

    and will have great satisfaction cutting up my barclaycard

    just found out when barclaycard close your account you lose all your reward points

    Report on 01 July 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • Little Steve
    Love rating 2
    Little Steve said

    I had a letter from one of my credit card providers last year ( I won't say who, but suffice to say 'this is not just a credit card...') telling me they'd reviewed my credit history (I've never missed a payment, gone over my credit limit or even used the card to withdraw cash) and they were going to increase the interest rate by about 3%! I refused to accept this, and gave up the card, and am now paying off the balance at the original rate - as, apparently, is my right.

    Halifax, on the other hand, knocked 4% of my rate, just for the asking!

    I cut up my House of Fraser card, they assumed I'd lost it and sent me a replacement!

    Report on 07 July 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • wllcnur
    Love rating 0
    wllcnur said

    I got mself into a bit of a mess with my credit cards [I have 3]. I have tried to change to 0% cards and low rate lifetime cards but have been rejected. My credit score on Experian is excellent. Halifax contacted me to say they were increasing % [an increase of over 10% in less than 12 months.] I contacted them and asked if I could change to a lower rate card but was refused - I closed my account to keep the balance at the lower rate. I also contacted LloydsTSB to switch to a lower rate card to help me pay off earlier but was also refused. I don't think the banks really want to help their customers - they're only interested in getting as much out of us as they can.

    Report on 10 July 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • abizmom
    Love rating 1
    abizmom said

    This may seem like stating the flippin' obvious, but for heaven's sake once you've cleared the card, cut the thing up and close the account, or the temptation will remain to start the whole process again!! And that's from bitter experience.

    Interesting MapMonster's card provider said "they don't like the limit increasing even though they increase the limit". I was horrified that, after clearing out a chunk from one particular card, the company then increased the already four figure limit by a further £4000! That doesn't suggest to me that they don't like to do that. It made me determined to get rid of that one even more quickly. Get thee behind me, credit card companies!!

    Report on 14 July 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • suziv
    Love rating 0
    suziv said

    Many credit card companies either allow you to pay the full balance or the minimum payment and nothing in between. This means you have to make a great effort to remember to make an additional monthly payment. All you need to do to get round this is set up a standing order from your bank to your card account for the amount you wish to overpay per month. Speak to your credit card provider to get the required sort code / account number / reference, etc. You can obviously also make additional manual payments on top of this if you have any spare money.

    You may also notice on your personal credit report that there is a note made on some accounts as to whether you are making just the minimum payment or if you pay more (they do not seem to note the additional amount - just that you pay more so even a small amount per month should have a positive effect!!).

    Report on 17 July 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • lindaphillips16
    Love rating 0
    lindaphillips16 said

    I made the mistake of withdrawing some cash on each of 2 barclaycards (it was because my pay hadnt gone into my account and I was going on holiday that night)

    I am STILL paying interest on the cash withdrawal over 3 years later! as I also made the mistake of transferring a large balance at low rates for the life of, I assumed i could pay the cash withdrawal off at the month end and carry on monthly with the balance transfer... WRONG!!!

    Report on 18 July 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • ceriwilliams
    Love rating 0
    ceriwilliams said

    I have a capital one card, with a stupidly high apr. I'd love a 0% card, but no-one will give me one. I have never needed credit, so don't really have a credit history - seems I should have applied for and maxed out some cards when i was 18, just to get along now!

    I'm sure I'll pay it off one day...

    Report on 10 August 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • Jo56974
    Love rating 0
    Jo56974 said

    I've got a capital one card. They recently took 'the difficult decision' to increase the APR. I've tried to transfer to a 0% card, but have had no luck. I've now cut it up so I am not tempted to spend on it.

    Report on 08 October 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love
  • G3R5
    Love rating 0
    G3R5 said

    Capital One don't seem to be too popular with those who have spent more than they can afford and have a continual balance to pay off. I'm not unsympathetic towards people who find it necessary to use a credit card to spend money they don't have, but it's not for me. I prefer to cut my spending to match (as near as possible) my budget. I do use a credit card though, and its a (gasp) Capital One cashback card. Even my weekly petrol spend earns me about £40 a year and holidays etc add on too. Have used Amex' introductory offer but Cap1 give a better continuing rate. Also, the couple of times I've had problems - like getting charged interest for not paying the full balance (I rounded from memory and ended up 40p short) - a polite enquiry saw the charges rescinded as a gesture. They are human and recognise if you make a mistake. Thanks Capital One!

    Report on 12 November 2010  |  Love thisLove  0 love

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