6 Secrets About Credit Card Debt

Ever wondered when and how to pay off your debt or how to avoid negatively affecting your credit? We have the secrets to help you tackle your credit card debt once and for all!

If you pay the minimum, you will stay in debt

Credit card companies make a profit on the interest they charge you. If you carry a balance on your credit card and only pay the minimum paying interest only payments. This means you could be making interest only payments for years and therefore never touching your principal balance. Principal balance is the actual amount that you have borrowed from a creditor without any additional fees. Of all the fees that can be added; interest, balance transfer, late, annual, over-the-limit, and cash advance fees are the most common.

Make an effort to pay double your minimum payment, or more! By doing this, you are subsequently lowering your principal balance and the amount of interest you will be charged per month will decrease.

Learn to negotiate with your creditors

Simply asking for a lower interest rate may allow you to set a payment schedule that fits your lifestyle. If you are paying a high interest rate and notice that your principal balance is never decreasing, you should start making higher payments so that your balance will start to decrease. If you cannot make additional payments, then you should call your creditor, explain your situation, and ask for a lower interest rate. It doesn’t always work, but it’s worth the phone call.

Talk to your creditor before you are sent to collections

If you are having issues making your payments on time due to a medical crisis, change in employment, or marital status, you should contact your creditors immediately. Many times you can avoid negative reporting by simply communicating and creating a payment plan with your lenders. Tell them when you are able to make payments and how much, and plan to stick to it! This can be life changing considering a pattern of delinquent payments show on your credit report for years and can lower your credit score immediately.

Pay off your debt off one bill at a time

Have you been paying the minimum or even extra on all of your credit card bills at the same time? Doing this can make it seem like you will never get out of debt. An effective solution would be to implement either the avalanche or snowball effect. Debt avalanche means that you are paying off your debt starting with the highest interest rate. Debt snowball means that you are paying off your debt starting with the lowest balances.

With both of these strategies, you make a higher payment on either the higher interest rate or lower balance and the minimum payment on all other cards. Then, once you have paid off the first card, you add the amount you were paying, plus the minimum payment, on the next card. Continuing with each card until all of your debt is paid. Neither process is better than the other, so how do you decide which is right for you? Consider your drive to become debt free. If you are easily sidetracked or frustrated, then the snowball effect may give you the encouragement you need to keep going.

Avoid late charges

Late fees are a simple way credit card companies can keep you in debt. If you have a high interest rate, consistently make late payments, and only pay the minimum, you may notice your balance actually going up. Late fees can range from $25-50 depending on the credit card company and late fees on installment loans such as personal, car, mortgage, or student loans can quickly have a negative effect on your credit and will limit the amount that you are paying towards your principal balance.

If your debt is extremely high, try consolidation

Debt consolidation can be helpful in making your financial plan achievable, but be cautious with your consolidation loan. Beware of high charging debt consolidation services and instead meet with your local credit union to discuss your options. Also, try not to put your house on the line. Don’t gamble with your home without speaking to a financial advisor that can provide the best course of action.

Additionally, you would not want to apply for a debt consolidation loan only to max out the credit cards that you now have available to you again. This could cause you to be in a worse financial situation than you began with. Make sure you are disciplined enough to handle the available credit card usage before applying for a consolidation.

The most important thing to remember about debt consolidation is that you should never get into an extended term that results in you paying back more in interest than you would have originally. Ensure that you are getting the shortest term possible or make the additional monthly payments that will offset the interest rate.

RateGenius wants to help you achieve your goal of financial freedom. If we can help you by refinancing your auto loan in order to lower your monthly payments, apply today!

Remember: Stay focused and celebrate small victories!

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Auto Rates Hit 1.99%, Take Advantage Now!

pablo-6Have you been wondering about the best time to purchase a new car or refinance your current car? Today rates are as low as 1.99% with approved credit making this the time to act. These rates will put you well on your way to paying off your new loan early!

With new vehicle sales trending down over the past year, deep discounts could be available at the dealership for your new car purchase. As the year approaches its close, 2016 cars may be offered at the lowest prices year-to-date to prepare for the new 2017 models. If you are in the market for a new car, stop by your local dealership today.

Already have a car that you want to keep, but need the payments lowered? No worries, you can still take advantage of low rates by refinancing your car. RateGenius offers a simple and unmatched refinance experience. RateGenius works with over 150 lenders in the country to find you the best possible rate on your new loan.

pablo-3How do you know this is a good time to refinance?

There are many factors that can help you decide if this is a good time for you to apply for a refinance. If you have a high credit score, have been working on improving your credit, need to lower your monthly payments, or want to start paying off other debt, this may be the best time for you to refinance your car.

Over time, credit scores and financial situations can change. These changes can make you eligible for a lower interest rate on your auto loan. Saving on interest over the life of your loan, can lead to thousands of dollars in savings and an expedited payoff schedule.

Be sure you are currently up-to-date on your loan payments before applying for your refinance and check the value of your vehicle to ensure this is a good move for you. Typically newer cars have a better loan value and are easier to refinance.

The process is easy. After a short application, you’ll get a phone call if approved to get the ball rolling. The entire process can be completed in as little as 7 days! That means you are on your way to saving faster than ever. After your loan is complete, we offer you unlimited earning potential through our simple referral program. By referring a friend who completes their loan directly through rateGenius with your application number listed we will give both of you $50! Sound like a sweet deal? Tell your friends to apply now!

Let us know if you are planning to refinance or purchase a new car!

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Lower Student Loans Fast

pabloMany Americans went to college only to owe thousands in student loans, we can help! We’ve identified a few simple ways to get rid of student loan debt fast.

Consolidate or Refinance

Analyze your debt and decide which bills can be consolidated or lowered. If it makes sense for you, consider refinancing your home or car. Refinancing your home will be a bit more work, but if your credit has improved or you have had your mortgage for a few years, you may still be able to lower your payments. Talk to your financial institution to see if this makes sense for your situation.

Looking for another way to save? Refinancing your car is easy! You can simply apply online to start the process and find out your options within 48 hours. Since you have likely had this car for a few months, your credit report change and payment history can lead to a lower payment for you and long-term interest savings. Average customers save $89/month, what do you have to lose?

Write a Budget and Cut Extra Spending

Budgeting can help to ensure you are allocating all of your monthly income appropriately. Consider all of your bills, spending money, and establish guidelines to pay extra on your student loans. Take out some of the entertainment or dining expenses for a length of time that works for your lifestyle. Allow yourself one day per week to dine out or splurge, but try to pack your lunch and choose free entertainment options for increased savings.

pablo-4Get a Second Job or Find Freelance Work

We know what you’re thinking…. You graduated from college so that you can get ONE good paying job that will provide the income you need, right? Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen right away and you may have to work additional hours to get on your feet. Even if you end up with a great job right after college, student loans are a nuisance that no one wants to deal with long term. Perhaps an extra $100-500 per month can really help you pay off those loans in a shorter time, while still providing you with the freedom to live your life. Consider babysitting for a friend, freelance work, a part time job, or even mystery shopping as a way to fill in the income gap.

Find a Job that offers a Loan Forgiveness Program

While every job does not over student loan forgiveness, there are quite a few out there that do. If you are able to find a job with a program like this, take advantage! They may require you commit to a few years with the company, but it may be worth it depending on the amount of your student loans. Having a hard time finding jobs that qualify? Try these websites for more tips:

Government Loan Forgiveness
Companies That Pay Student Loans
Additional Job s That Pay Student Loans

Pay More than the Minimum

This one is simple. If you wrote out your budget, refinanced your loan, got a second job, and you are spending less on entertainment, you should be able to make a higher payment. If your payment is $250, pay $300 or more. The amount you overpay can vary per month based on your financial situation; however, paying extra is the key to saving on interest in the long run!

What are you doing to payoff your student loans? Share your tips with us on Facebook!

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Can You Trust Dealerships?

Let’s be honest, car buying is not the most exciting time in our lives! We’ve all dreaded heading to the dealership to buy a new car for one reason or another. However, knowing how to spot a good deal and doing your research can help you make a sound financial decision.

dealerKnow your buying power

Knowing your buying power means that you have reviewed your budget and know how much money you can comfortably pay for your new car. Consider any new life changes that may come around in the next few years and plan for them. List out all of your bills and monthly expenses to determine your budget and don’t allow yourself to get pressured into a $350 payment, if you can only afford $250/month.

Know your vehicle value before going to the dealership

If you plan to trade-in a used vehicle, you should check the value through NADA or Kelley Blue Book ahead of time. Dealerships will generally try to offer the trade-in value of your vehicle, when in reality, the retail value could also be used. Sometimes these numbers are close in range, but there are times when these values can differ greatly and affect the amount of money rolled into your new loan. If you aren’t sure, call your local financial institution to see how much your car is worth.

Beware of expensive add-ons

There are many great reasons to add GAP or service contracts to your new auto loan, but know when a the price is too high. If you can afford to pay for these out-of-pocket, doing so could help ensure you don’t become upside down on your new set of wheels. These add-ons can range in price, but be sure to know the average for your state before arriving. If you have already purchased a new car, but passed on a vehicle service contract, you may still be eligible.

Buy the right car

Some cars depreciate faster than others, so be sure to look at what is under the hood and not just the bells and whistles. Many dealerships will try to get the oldest cars off the lot by offering discount prices, which can be great for consumers, if they understand what they are buying. Consider potential cost for repairs, family or work needs, and gas mileage, just to name a few. Every car is not right for every person.

Young Couple Signs a Contract For the Purchase of a New Car

Commission is incentive enough to sell you a car

Sure, we all want to think that our salesman is our new best friend, but before you invite them for dinner, remember that they are making a commission on your purchase. There are plenty of trustworthy and friendly salesmen out there, but do not forget that they are all sales agents. They make their money by selling you a product whether it works for you or not. Look for someone friendly who also gives you honest feedback on cars that may interest you.

Check out the document fee on your contract

Document fees are real and completely normal; however, they shouldn’t be higher than $200-300 in most states. If you got a ‘great deal’, be sure they didn’t hide a cost in the document fee section of your contract.

Salesmen are not car experts

Do not expect for all salesmen to provide thorough knowledge on each car make and model. It is important for you to know trusted brands, safety features, and car part functions. You can count on your salesman to focus on the heated seats, sunroof, and leather seats. They aren’t so focused on telling you the engine life expectancy or when the tires were replaced.

Pay attention to the interest rate

Dealerships like to sell you on the car payments and not on the interest rate. You absolutely do not want to be upside down on your car within a year due to high interest rates. This means that the value of your vehicle is depreciating faster than you can pay it off. Check your credit score and shop around for a fair interest rate before signing a new contract!

If a dealership has taken advantage of you by offering you a high interest rate, contact rateGenius to see if we can save you money on your monthly payments. Together we can help you gain financial control of your life!

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These 5 Bills Are Ripping You Off

Do you find yourself in a constant financial rat race? Never able to get a handle on your bills? Do you want to free up extra money in your budget?

We’ve narrowed down the 5 monthly bills that are ripping you off every month. Lower these bills and you will be on your way to achieving financial freedom!

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Car Payment

If you bought your car from a dealership or your credit score has increased over the last year, you are likely paying too much for your car payment. Refinancing allows you to reassess your current financial situation and find into an up-to-date interest rate. Additionally many times, you can shorten or lengthen your loan term, based on your needs and vehicle value. We’ve done the research and the average person saves $89/month by refinancing with rateGenius! RateGenius works with over 150 lenders nationwide to match you with a lender that meets your needs. The process is simple and fast, apply today and save!

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Car Insurance

If you are a good driver that never has accidents and hasn’t gotten a ticket in ages, it may be time to review your current insurance policy. Shop around to be sure you have a policy that fits your needs. Be sure to ask for higher deductibles if that matches your lifestyle and budget in order to lower premiums. Finding an unbiased solution is often key. RateGenius Insurance Agency works with 20+ carriers nationwide that can find you the best coverage at the lowest price!

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With so many options to watch your favorite television shows on demand, is there a need for cable anymore? From Netflix streaming exclusive shows and movies and Hulu with over 9 million worldwide subscribers, cable is becoming a thing of the past. Amazon Prime has also jumped into the new era and now offer your favorite shows available to watch with the touch of a button from your computer or smart TV. Endless options abound in 2016, so why are you still paying $100+/month for cable, when many of your favorite shows can be available to you for around $10 per month?

Here are some of our favorite streaming websites:
Hulu Plus
Sling TV
Amazon Prime

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Reducing electricity costs in your home can seem impossible during the summer, but there are still a few things you can do to lower your bill. Use your appliances in the evening, especially on hot days, to keep your air conditioner from overworking. Also, replacing your air filters ensures your unit is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. When away from the house, turn off your ceiling fan and when at home use electric fans instead of the air conditioner when possible. Try these no fuss solutions to lower your bill this month!

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Cell Phone

Still paying for the same coverage you did 5 years ago? Pay attention to your data usage by reviewing your 3 most recent statements. Most companies charge for data instead of talk or text these days, so if you are only using 2GB of data, be sure you aren’t paying for 5GB. Compare service providers to establish the best available rate and decide if prepaid services are best for you. Understand your patterns. If you only use your phone at work or at home, perhaps you do not need to pay for an extensive calling plan. You can also save by not streaming music and videos to your phone when you are able to use a laptop or desktop. Have multiple cell phone users in your family? Consider evaluating family plans to save money!

Now that you know you are paying too much for your monthly bills, how do you plan on making changes? Share your thoughts with us!

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