The Real Deal: How to avoid increasing your debt

As more consumers are leaning on credit cards to afford their everyday necessities like food and rent, figuring out the best way to manage payments and debt is key to financial freedom.

News 12 Staff

May 30, 2023, 11:56 AM

Updated 383 days ago

Share:

The average U.S. household carries an average credit card balance of $9,000.
News 12 consumer reporter Janice Lieberman has the Real Deal on what you can do to avoid increasing your debt.
As more consumers are leaning on credit cards to afford their everyday necessities like food and rent, figuring out the best way to manage payments and debt is key to financial freedom.
Experts say right now is a good time to reduce spending, especially if you are putting money on cards. Anticipating that your bills will go up due to higher interest, it is important to try to cut back and look for ways to save.
Interest rates are up as high as 20%, so using that card can be hard to manage.
Before you open a new credit card or increase your line of credit, think about how it will affect your bottom line.
“When considering a balance transfer? You really need to crunch the numbers. So check and see if there's a balance transfer fee involved, what that percentage is. It's very rare to see a balance transfer at 0%. The interest is 0%, meaning once you place the balance transfer onto the new card, the interest rate will be zero for a certain period of time. What's interesting to note is that it's likely that at the end of that period of time, your interest rate will be higher than it was on the original card,” says Leslie Tayne, founder of Tayne Law Group.
If you are looking to consolidate your debt to make one single payment, there’s a lot to consider.
In addition, try negotiating your interest rate with the credit card issuer to lower payments.
“Negotiating credit card debt and interest rates can be easily done by a consumer under certain circumstances. I encourage the consumer to call the bank and talk about a lower interest rate. What options are available? There's nothing wrong with calling your credit card company and saying, I always pay my bills. Is there a lower interest rate product for me?” says Tayne. 
If not, think about switching to a card with lower interest.
Lastly make sure to keep on time payments with all creditors. If you fall behind, your accounts could end up in collections. If you can’t keep up, call a bankruptcy attorney to find out what your rights are.


More from News 12