Debt Relief
Credit Card Debt Relief

More and more people are finding themselves saddled
with more debt than they can handle. If you are one
of them, here are 4 steps you can take to get some
credit card debt relief:

Always pay your bills on time

Always pay your bills on time. Most people are already
aware that one or two late credit card payments can result
in late fees and a higher interest rate. But did you know
that credit card companies can also hike your rate if you
make a late payment to another creditor.

That's right. Even if you always pay your Visa bill on time,
a late payment to American Express can lead to a higher
interest rate on both cards. This is because the banks that
issue credit cards don't just check your credit report when
you first apply for a card. They keep an eye on it as long
as you have an account with them and if they see late payments
to other creditors they can use that as an excuse to jack your
rate up too.

Call your card issuer and ask for a better rate

Call your card issuer and ask for a better rate. The credit
card industry is highly competitive and as long as you have a
decent credit history they would rather lower your rate by a
couple of percentage points than lose your business altogether.

Do the same for every card in your wallet. If you have several
cards with balances on them you can easily save hundreds of
dollars a year in finance charges.

Transfer  to a card with a lower rate

Transfer your high interest rate balances to a card with a
low rate. Your mailbox is probably flooded with introductory
offers of 0% on balance transfers for a year or more. This is
a great way to consolidate debt and significantly lower finance
charges. Just be sure to pay off as much as you can before the
introductory period ends and try to stop using the card for new purchases.

Consider taking out a home-equity loan

If you are really in dire straights you can consider taking
out a home-equity loan to pay off your credit card balances.
This is not the ideal solution for everyone since you are
basically trading one debt for another, but interest rates
on home equity loans are generally far lower than those of
credit cards.

An added benefit is that interest paid on home-equity loans
is usually tax-deductible if you itemize deductions on your tax
return. This can lower your tax bill at the end of the year,
adding more to your savings.

Ed Lathrop is a successful real estate investor and a series 3 commodities futures broker.
He has extensive knowledge of the credit/mortgage markets.  He has built the financial
calculator Website, ezcalculator which is free to use and includes the calculator, "Pay Your
Credit Card Debt Quick."  Ezcalculator can be found at Mortgage Calculator or by going to