If you are suffering a credit card hangover from a recent spending binge, we have some survival tips for you!

Here are ten simple ways to reduce your credit card debt.

  1. Got more than one maxed credit card? Focus on paying off your credit card with the highest interest rate first.  Once you pay it off, cancel it.
  2. If you have credit card debt you should have no savings.  Put all spare cash into paying down your credit cards.
  3. Cancel all your store cards.  You do not need a store card, which is essentially a credit card, for every major Australian retailer.  These cards nearly always have higher interest rates too.
  4. Be wary about transferring all your credit card to a new card with a honeymoon interest free period.  While cards that offer a zero interest for six months might be tempting, remember if you can’t pay the entire balance off in six months, the interest rate you revert to could be crippling.
  5. Only use the card when you know there is sufficient cash in your own bank account to cover the cost of the transaction.  This means by making the purchase you are not putting yourself in debt.
  6. Always check your credit card statements.  Not only to ensure nothing has gone on without your knowledge, but also a bit of a reality slap about your spending.  Seeing the numeric effect of your purchases in black and white can have a dampening effect on spending.
  7. Remove the temptation to overspend by reducing your credit limit.  That is, reduce, not increase!  Ask yourself what limit you really need and reduce your credit limit that amount only.
  8. Set up a direct debit to pay off your credit cards from your salary.  Even if you get paid fortnightly, have a fortnightly payment go towards your credit card debt.  This is a great way to get ahead of debt and we promise you won’t miss the money.
  9. In future, be careful about how much debt you take on.  Manage your money with a budget to ensure you don’t get back in over your head.
  10. Review your spending habits.  While paying off your debt is one thing, preventing another credit card binge is another.  Think about what strategies you can put in place to ensure you are not over-spending.