Most of us have credit card and other unsecured debt that is weighing us down on a monthly basis. Minimum payments do nothing to bring down balances and interest is eating us up. There are options available to each of us and some simple steps will go a long way in helping us to pay down the balances.
1 - List all of your accounts, with a balances, minimum payment amount, interest rate.
2 - Set up a budget to pay down your credit balances. Divide the total amount owed by the number of months in which you would like to pay down the balances. If the number is something you can accomplish than work with that number. Stick to your budget, don't divert funds from your goals.
3 - Work on paying down the smaller balances first. Pay the minimum amount on each of the larger accounts and pay down the smaller ones as quickly as possible. If you have a budget of $500 per month on payments, then pay the smaller ones off and work your way up to the larger ones.
4 - Contact your creditors and ask for a reduction in the interest rate. Some of the creditors will work with you for either the life of your account, or for a limited period of time, but they will work with you.
5 - Don't open any new accounts, don't increase your limits on any accounts, this will only lead you to use the accounts again.
6 - Monitor your accounts on a monthly basis and check your statements. Make sure that the payments and interest rates are properly reflected. Errors have been made in the past and could happen to you and your account.
As you pay down your cards, if they are not cards which can be used in the event of a true emergency, close the account with the creditor. This will eliminate any temptation to use the account in the future.
You don't need to work with a credit counseling service, you can do this yourself and noone is going to have as much interest as you are in working on YOUR credit and debt.