Have you ever wondered why your credit card problems never stop? Sure, there are external factors that happen that may lead to it. For instance, reports reveal that 23% of consumers carrying credit card debt blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for the increase in their balance.
This is not surprising. After all, the effects of the pandemic and the recession were quite devastating. Even those who are very careful with the way they managed their finances are probably struggling. If you look at everything that happened since the year started, even those with sufficient emergency funds would have felt the effects too.
But our inability to control these external events does not mean we are completely helpless when it comes to our credit card problems. There are things that we can do to ensure that despite everything going on in our lives, our credit cards will not cause us problems.
How? By knowing the reasons why most people develop a problem with it in the first place.
4 reasons why credit card problems won’t stop
If you think about it, the use of credit cards has been the norm for quite some time now. It’s not really hard to understand how it happened. Our credit cards are very convenient to use. But it’s this convenience that can lead to a lot of credit card problems for most folks.
Here are 4 reasons that you might be able to identify with if you’re constantly struggling with your credit card debts.
We rely on credit cards too much
As mentioned, using credit cards has become normal for most people. You can hardly find anyone who doesn’t own at least one credit card. Report even reveal that the average American has 4 credit cards. The truth is, it’s not entirely bad if you own credit cards. But you have to know how to use it. You can own a lot of cards but make sure you really use all of them. Otherwise, you‘ll be paying for the annual fees unnecessarily. Not only that, it’ll be a huge temptation for you to rely on your cards – especially during times of emergencies. You’ll think that since you have a lot of cards anyway, it’s okay for you to rely on it.
This is where the problem usually starts. When you rely on your cards too much, you fail to realize just how much debt you’ve already accumulated – until it’s too late. So make sure that if you use your credit cards, you plan it first.
We don’t take the effects of credit card debt seriously
Another reason why most of us have credit card problems is that we don’t really take its effects seriously. Despite what a lot of Americans went through during the Great Recession, they are still using their credit cards with complete abandon.
While it’s okay to keep using it, make sure you realize how it can really affect your life. Your credit card debt is powerful enough to make you lose everything you’ve worked hard to acquire. So be very careful. It can make your life unpleasant – and even cause rifts in your relationships. You have to learn to make smarter choices when it comes to the use of your credit cards.
We keep paying the minimum payment requirement
This is one of the common mistakes that will keep you submerged in credit card problems. Paying the minimum requirement will keep you in debt for a very long time. You see, the minimum payment requirement is mostly paying off the interest rate of your credit card. It’s only paying a very small percentage of your principal balance. Since you are basically chipping away at your balance in very small amounts, it will take you forever to completely pay it off. In the meantime, you keep paying interest to the credit card company. What you pay is not really causing your balance to go down.
That means if you stick to this, you’ll still be paying your debt until you reach retirement. So just pay more than the minimum so you can get out of debt as soon as you can.
We don’t have any savings
Finally, your savings will also affect the gravity of your credit card problems. The truth is, some people don’t land in credit card debt because they have made a lot of bad choices. It’s mostly because they don’t have enough savings for emergencies. When someone they love or they themselves have to seek medical treatment, they have to borrow money just to pay for that.
If you want to avoid debt, you have to make sure you have enough savings for emergency situations. You need to start building your savings now. Even if you are paying off debt, it’s possible to multiply your savings. You just have to commit to it.
How to fix credit card problems
Now that you know the reasons why you are stuck in credit card problems, how can you fix it?
Here are three simple ways you can do this.
Stick to your budget plan
First is you have to use your budget plan. Identify your income and expenses. Make sure you have enough room in your budget for your debt payments. If not, then cut back on some of your expenses. That way, you can afford to pay more than the minimum amount on your credit card debts.
If you have set your debt payments in your budget plan, make sure you stick to it. Make it a priority so you can get rid of this debt as soon as you can. The faster you can pay this off, the less money you have to waste on paying the high-interest rates of your credit cards.
Use more cash
It also helps to stick to cash while you are trying to get rid of your credit card problems. While there are times when it’s wise to use credit cards over cash, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. You don’t want to make things worse by continuing to add to your balance.
To get rid of the temptation, hide your credit cards. Ideally, hide it in a place where it’s hard to get. That way, you’ll be forced to stick to cash – at least, until after you’ve paid off your balance.
Seek professional help
Finally, you might have to seek professional help when dealing with your credit card problems. A lot of people can pay off their debts on their own. But if you have compulsions that you can’t seem to shake, then it might be best to get the help of an expert. They may be able to identify what the real problem is. It might be your lifestyle. Or maybe you are not following your budget plan. Having another set of eyes look at it will give you an idea about the real cause of your debt issues.