Cut up the plastic.

It may seem trite to say it, but you can live without a credit card.  Trust us.  Just take the card out of your purse or wallet and see.  Paying back a balance that is decreasing is a lot easier than paying off an increasing balance.

Only have one credit card.

For those of us with multiple credit cards, reducing your credit cards to one will make it simpler for you to work at paying off your debt.  Not only will you be paying less fees, but you will be able to stare your debt in the eye and see it decrease.

Decrease your credit limit.

Another radical idea!  For the people that need access to a credit card for work and other purposes.  As you pay off your credit card debt, decrease your credit limit to a low and very manageable number, say $500 or $1,000.  This will remove the temptation of racking up fresh debt.

Research a better card interest rate.

Do you know what interest rate you are currently paying on your credit card?  You should!  And if you don’t, or if you are paying above [12%], chances are you will be able to get a more competitive rate elsewhere.  Shop around and see what is out there.

Find a new card with a zero interest on your balance transfer.

Some banks are offering packages with zero interest on your balance transfer, for a set period of time.  Of course, the catch with taking up one of these offers is that failing to pay off your carried over balance by the expiration of your grace period is going to put you back at square one, and probably at a higher interest rate.  Do not enter into this agreement lightly.

Increase your repayments.

If you are only making the minimal monthly repayment, you will be paying your bank maximum interest for a very long time.  With the minimum repayments for most credit cards being about 2% of the current card balance, paying it back at this turtle pace will see you in the red for a very long time.  Speed things up by paying fortnightly.

Take out a personal loan that consolidates your credit card debt. 

If you are suffocating under the debt of a couple of credit cards, a personal loan may be useful. Not only will the interest rate be a tad lower than the credit card rate, but the payments will be fixed over a set period of time, meaning you can budget yourself back into the green.  Just so long as you cut up all plastic that is!

If you must keep a credit facility, switch over to a debit card.

Understandably there are some people that need to access a Visa or Mastercard for work transactions and the like.  If that is you, consider getting a debit card in one.  With this card, you will not be relying on credit, but using your own money to make purchases via the credit card transaction system.  And therefore you will not be accumulating debt.

You don’t need a rewards program!

Choose a simple credit card with a small annual fee, rather than a credit card that offers a rewards program.  As tempting as these cards are, they also usually come with a higher interest rate and costly annual fee.

Cancel the credit cards.  

Once the debt is paid back to the bank, cancel the account.  Do not let yourself get into the same situation again.