the payments. He advises consumers who are having difficulties doing so to get creative.
“Maybe you can’t go to a movie this week,” he says. “Or instead of charging a pair of shoes you don’t need, wait until you have the money or maybe use the money you would have spent on the shoes to add more to paying down your debt.” For more tips, read “Save Now for Later” in our June 2005 issue.
If you find yourself struggling to make the new minimum payments, consider these strategies:
MANAGING THE INCREASE
- Slash your spending. Find ways to cut expenditures, such as going to the library instead of Barnes & Noble and taking your lunch to work.
- Dip into savings. If you have money making 1% interest in a savings account use some of it to lower your debt.
- Find additional income. A part-time job could help you get the payments under control.
- Negotiate with your credit card company. If you can’t afford the increase, don’t just throw up your hands in despair. Call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate, which will lower the payments. — T.E.H