Is your credit card debt out of control? Clark Howard says this is how you can pay it back

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Inflation continues to drive up the price of almost everything, and many Georgians are racking up huge credit card balances because of it.

With interest rates rising, it can seem impossible to keep up with the monthly payments.

Clark Howard, Channel 2 Consumer Advisor says there is a way to get rid of this burden.

Howard spoke with a man who told him how he was able to pay back nearly $100,000 and how you can do the same with yours.

“It’s sort of the lifeline for some things,” said consumer Jomahl Gildersleve.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Americans owe nearly $900 billion in credit card debt.

“Inflation has stretched household budgets in ways we haven’t seen in a long, long time. And some of the consequences of that are that more and more households are depleting the savings that have been accumulated during the pandemic and accumulating the credit card debt that had been paid off during the pandemic, ”said Greg McBride, analyst in Head at Bank Rates.

Demetrius Thrasher understands how quickly credit card balances add up. As a member of the US Navy, living overseas, he didn’t think about his expenses.

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“It started, literally, (with) a pair of glasses,” Thrasher said. “I started to get carried away with this lifestyle. By the time I left Spain, first class flights from here to the United States, partying the most like it wasn’t was nobody’s business, started tipping almost $90,000.

When the army told him that his debt would prevent him from advancing, he decided to pay it back.

With the help of Money Management International, Thrasher developed a repayment plan.

“They literally lowered all my interest rates to single digits because apparently I was 17+ with all these cards,” Thrasher said.

The debt he racked up over two years took him eight to pay off – but he did. And you too.

Howard said knowing your interest rate is key.

“Catch one of those low rates like 0% to balance transfer or introductory offers. It’s a great way to protect yourself from rising rates. But more importantly, give yourself this lead so that this debt is repaid once and for all,” McBride said.

And don’t even think about missing a payment – late fees and penalties add up quickly.

If you’re really in trouble, do what Thrasher did and ask for help. The National Credit Counseling Foundation will connect you with an agency like theirs. Just go to NFCC.org.

The most important lesson Thrasher wants you to understand: “Please learn the difference between a need and ‘I want'”.

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