Eliminating Credit Card Debt
 
Eliminating debt and learning to use credit wisely is essential to building a secure financial future. Managing overextended credit, or carrying credit beyond your capacity to make payments, is one of the more difficult financial situations. Many people suffer under enormous credit card debt, finding that their minimum monthly payments have made little difference in reducing their balances.
 
1. Identify Overspending: To manage credit card debt or rebuild your credit history, you must understand where your money goes and identify your personal spending habits. Effective budgeting is essential to managing or rebuilding your credit history. Take time to determine how much you spend, review your tracking worksheets, and determine where you are exceeding your budget.
 
2. Create A Spending Plan: After you’ve carefully tracked your expenses for a month, you are ready to create a spending plan. In making this plan, you will impose reasonable limits for your monthly expenses. You also will set limits on your spending within each budget category and resolve not to exceed them. At the end of the month, you will then have successfully met your expenses and have money left over to start paying down your credit account balances.
 
3. Review Credit Report: The content of your credit report must be reviewed before you can improve your credit score or history. Take extra time to analyze the contents of your report as it provides a record of your outstanding debts, credit card inquiries, credit history, and creditor contact information. Carefully study your personal contact information, social security number, and addresses. In addition, search for duplicate, outdated, or incorrect information. Should you find errors in your report, immediately contact the three major credit bureaus— Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion— and dispute all credit reporting errors.
 
Having collected information about your budget and credit history, you now are able to begin paying down high credit card balances, and/or contact your creditors to discuss alternative payment plans. Before you proceed, however, be sure to speak with a counselor at Trinity Debt Management. Trinity can help you review your credit card debts and discuss various options for repayment. They also can advise you on the best ways to negotiate with your creditors. Trinity can be reached toll free by calling at (800) 364-1086.