Taming your credit card debt

You're building your career, juggling student loan payments, paying for housing and covering several other bills. So it's tempting to rely on credit cards. No big deal, right?

Think again - it's much easier to get into debt than out of it.

According to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, the average 25 to 34 year old carries $5,000 in credit card debt. If that debt isn't managed well or it grows bigger, imagine the interest you'd be paying on that latte or pair of shoes you couldn't live without at the time. Before you go wild with the plastic, these six tips will help you maintain control of your debt.

Tip #1: Don't spend more than you earn

A survey by Renters.com says young adult renters overspent their income by $100 each month. Avoid using credit cards for everyday purchases that could easily be paid with cash. Remember, willpower goes a long way.

Tip #2: Get a handle on what you owe

If you carry a balance on one or more cards, the key is to pay more than the minimum each month to reduce the debt more quickly or, better yet, pay the balance in full. These good habits will also help build a strong credit history.

Tip #3: Close your eyes when you get the mail

Avoid the temptation of the parade of credit card offers that entice you with low introductory rates and balance transfers. Applying for new cards all the time can ding your credit score.

Tip #4: Stick to a budget

By balancing your income against expenses, you'll keep a firm grip on wasteful spending. If rent, transportation and food eat up the greatest share of your monthly budget, then consider living with a roommate, carpool to work at least a few times a week, and dine in instead of out. You may miss the social scene, but your wallet won't.

Tip #5: Build up some emergency savings

Setting aside a little every month helps prevent the need to put a surprise expense on a credit card. Medical or car troubles can rack up debt in no time. An emergency fund will make it a lot easier to handle when you least expect the unexpected.

Tip #6: Consolidate debt

If you have credit card debt, you may be able to consolidate higher rate debt with a Personal Loan. It could lower your monthly payments and you'll pay less interest. You may even be preapproved!

To learn more about Personal Loans call us at 1-800-288-3425, send us a secure message in Online Banking, or visit any Think Bank office.

Example:

 

Using A High Rate
Credit Card

Using A Think
Personal Loan

Loan Amount
$10,000
$10,000
Interest Rate
16.84% APR**
7.19% APR***
Monthly Payment
$201.73
$201.73*
Time to Pay Off
85 Months
60 Months
Total Interest Paid
$7,219.23
$1,941.65

You Save:

$5,277.27!


We can help

If you'd like to consolidate debt call us at 1-800-288-3425, send us a secure message in Online Banking, or visit any Think Bank office.


* Monthly payments listed are approximate and include OPTIONAL Single Credit Life Insurance. Payment examples shown are based on fixed rate Personal loans. Rates shown are current as of 03/14/2018 and subject to change.

** National average variable credit card rate. Source: Bankrate.com: 03/14/2018 and subject to change. Monthly payments listed are approximate. Example assumes no additional credit charges are incurred.

*** APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Rate current as of 03/14/2018 and subject to change.

Other amounts and terms available. Standard underwriting guidelines apply.

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