Are you making only the minimum payment due on your cards each month, and watching the amount you owe rise with each billing cycle? Do you use your credit cards to purchase everyday household items, like groceries, that you used to buy with cash? If you answered yes to either question, you’re probably dealing with mounting credit card debt.
Credit cards are extremely easy to use, but need a great deal of discipline to avoid getting into unmanageable debt. A credit card debt is an unsecured loan, because the credit card company does not hold or ‘secure’ any of your assets to cover the amount you owe the company if you are unable to pay your credit card bill. When you default on a credit card payment by stopping making payments altogether, the credit card company will try and recoup its losses by contacting you, typically through a collection agency.
The key to credit card debt consolidation is to avoid getting to the stage where you’re receiving notices and calls from a collection agency. You can do this by taking control of the situation and cutting unnecessary expenses so you have more money to put towards your monthly credit card payments. If the amount is too large, you could consider contacting the credit card company and negotiating a reduced interest rate, and a reduced or waived late fee, to help you pay the debt off. Another option may be to go through a debt consolidation company, which will negotiate on your behalf and take over all communications with the credit card company and collection agency. Remember that even if the credit card company agrees to an interest rate reduction and late fee waiver, information on the payments you didn’t make will still be reflected in your credit report.