MY CARD IS “MAXED OUT” – WHAT DO I DO? Irish Daily Star 3rd August 2023

Q. Between last year’s Christmas’s presents and a holiday taken in April, I have found my credit card is “maxed out” – they won’t raise the limit either – and I am finding it hard to pay it back. I have only been paying the minimum payment each month. I am finding it difficult to motivate myself to saving up to pay it off and wonder do you have any ideas for me to reduce the debt ? It is only just over 4 months to Christmas and dreading the merry go round already. Thanks Jim – Portarlington Co Laois

A. Credit is not evil, but it must be used wisely and judiciously Jim. In order to avoid common pitfalls of debt, you need to read the fine print, pay on time, and limit the amount of credit you have. If you miss a payment or are late – every payment is recorded in, credit card companies can make money. Most credit card companies charge interest rates of 20%+ on balances – that’s why it will take you 20 years + to fully repay if you are only paying the minimum each month ! You may have “maxed” your credit card and you may not be able to pay off the entire debt now but there are credit card providers that will allow you to transfer your entire balance on your credit card to them at 0%. The best is An Post Money who give you 12 months interest free, giving you some breathing space – you might be able to pay off over the 12 month period. Beware also your credit standing is checked on everything – home and car loans, credit union loans, changing your current account from one bank to the next. So it is important to be organised and pay your card bill or at least the minimum on time.

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