People in most age groups find themselves under pressure when it comes to money. In their student days it may be simply surviving with the prospect of repaying their loan an ever present for many years. Once anyone reaches 18 years of age they can get a credit card but the reality is that although a card is convenient it is a source of danger. Spend too much and only repay the minimum required each month and you can soon build up a significant balance that incurs a penal rate of interest each month.
Different money pressures can arise in the coming years. A young married couple with two pay checks coming in every month can start to build their lives but it is important when children come along to recognize that if there is only one pay check each month, they have to change their lifestyle. There is the extra cost of a family to add to regular bills as well of course. It is easy to momentarily forget there is less money coming into the house, especially for those people whose second nature is to use a credit card. That problematic credit card balance can grow quickly, almost without you noticing.
Prior to the recession credit card companies aggressively marketed their cards with introductory offers to attract new customers. Zero per cent balance transfers were particularly popular; they allowed people to transfer balances without penalty but of course the offers were for a limited period. Such offers disappeared when the recession struck and many found themselves in real trouble. If they were late with payments their credit history and contently the resulting credit score were damaged.
Recognize and Act
A legacy of problems still remains and the level of credit card debt across the USA is still worrying high. If you see yourself here, in debt to credit card companies without the obvious means of solving the problem, you have in fact taken the first step toward a solution; the recognition that a problem exists.
The next steps call for action. First of all you should write down your monthly income and expenditure and look at ways you can either increase your income, reduce your expenditure, or both. If your problem has been trying to live on a single pay check but the children are old enough to go to school you may find that the lady of the house can resume work to help tackle the problem, even if it involves paying for help for the children before work finishes.
That extra money will certainly help but it is always worth looking at whether you can make any savings on a monthly basis. It does not necessarily involve sacrifice. Perhaps you can save on utility bills or insurance by getting a more competitive quotation? If you are carrying high interest credit card debt a consolidation loan that pays off all such debts will be far cheaper. If you can show regular income and demonstrate that you can afford the monthly instalment repayments for the full term of the realistic online loans, today’s online lenders are likely to approve an application. They base their decisions upon affordability as opposed to any poor credit history.
The point is however that it is essential that you have the self-discipline not to build up balances once more. You cannot use your credit card to subsidize your lifestyle or to buy something that you cannot pay for in full at the end of the month. The whole process requires patience and determination. Your credit score will slowly improve as you make each repayment on time while historical blemishes become less important with time until they disappear completely after seven years.
A life with financial stress should be your aim. Likewise you should try to save so that you have an emergency fund and something put aside each month for retirement. You will not be able to do that without following a budget and getting out of debt.