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How to End Your Relationship With Credit Card Debt

When you really think about it, breaking up with your credit card debt can be a lot like ending a personal relationship. It’s not always easy but it’s so worth it.

We’ve put together tips and resources that will help you make a break from credit cards and get your relationship with money back to being a positive one.

As a teenager, having money was an exciting thing, but as you grow older the realities of life can set in. Managing money and debt can often be challenging, and even overwhelming.  One-in-four Canadians feel this way about debt. You’re not going to be able to eliminate your responsibilities of paying bills, but focusing on paying off your debt load can make managing money exciting again.

Why, you might ask? It’s because eliminating debt — especially credit card debt — will often allow you to save more for the activities you love and the things you need. You may even get a thrill out of being able to save for an emergency or get a head start on preparing for retirement!

Let’s get started. Here are a three steps that will help you end your relationship with credit card debt:

  1. Ghost your credit cards

This is a good strategy to avoid adding to your current debt load. In personal relationships, “ghosting” means cutting off all communications to a person, as if you just disappeared.

We’re not suggesting you ghost your credit card company as that will do more harm than good. Rather ghost your credit cards by making them disappear from your wallet or purse. Figure out a way to do it that works for you; hide them in the freezer or leave them out-of-sight in a safe place at home. And remember to remove your credit card information from retail sites like Amazon, and from apps like Apple Pay.

  1. Speak with your credit card company about your debt

Don’t be fooled. Your credit card company absolutely wants you to continue to carry a balance. However, they may be willing to make concessions to keep you as a cardholder and avoid having you default on your entire credit card balance.

Give them a call and politely ask what options might be available to help you with your debt repayment. Don’t be afraid to ask for a reduction in your interest rate — or even a period of time that’s interest free. It’s a no-risk step that can provide interest relief. The less interest you pay, the more you can pay towards your principle balance owing. There’s no guarantees you’ll get it, but if you do, take advantage and make as many extra payments as possible.

  1. Work on your relationship to avoid falling back into old habits

So, let’s assume the credit card company has given you a period of time with a reduced interest rate and you’ve begun the process of breaking up with your credit card debt. Now what?

Now is the time to work on creating a healthier relationship with your money. This can mean a variety of things, from improving your financial literacy to changing how you manage money to trying out a new budget strategy. You may even decide to pick up odd jobs to earn some extra cash, which can help you pay off debt faster. We can’t help you with the odd jobs part, but we can help you find resources to grow your financial knowledge.

Here are three of our favorite financial influencers that can help you reframe how you think about money and work towards completely breaking up with your credit card debt:

BrokeGirlRich offers up here 21 baby steps to financial security, which can help you begin to rethink how to achieve your financial goals in small easy steps.

The Wallet Diet is a lifestyle blogger offering up financial tips and tricks on how to enjoy life, without overspending and without putting your debt reduction efforts at risk.

Always Save Money offers up two ways to pay down your debt faster, which can be very beneficial should you get that period of time where your credit card company has reduced your interest rate.

Join the conversation on Twitter and let’s make February the month you decide to #LeaveDebtBehind and start to change your #RelationshipWithMoney by improving your #FinancialLiteracy.   

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