If you are interested in reducing credit card debt, know that there are no instant solutions, no matter what the slick salesman says. If you are in a situation where it is causing you fits, remember that you did not get where you are overnight. Nor will the problem go away as quickly. But it will go away. And the best way to do it is with a debt snowball.
Be careful. Do not fall for come-ons telling you that you can lower your payments overnight. Oh yeah, in a lot of cases you can lower your payments almost immediately, but that is only by raising your overall debt.
It is how debt consolidation loans work. And is usually an illusion to really living debt free. The loan provider, many times a third party to a debt counseling service, provides you with a loan that lowers your monthly payments. You may reason that by doing this they are saving you money, when they are actually costing you more. In order to lower your monthly payments they are combining your debt. Maybe you have three credit cards they combine or a couple of credit cards and a car loan. They combine this debt together and give you a consolidation loan that costs less per month than the total of the combined bills. They are able to do this by extending the term of the debt. You pay less per month, but over a longer period of time. Therefore, these types of debt consolidation loans cost more in the long-term in extended payments and interest.
The Real Way
The real way to reduce your credit card debt is to pay it down with what is called a debt snowball. Do not fall for any other credit card debt solutions. If you are only making minimum payments, you will practically never get financially free. Even paying a little more on your credit cards each month will help you in a big way.
It is not a stretch to find $10 a month out there somewhere that you are spending on non-essential items. Take that $10 a month and add it to your payment each month on the card with the smallest minimum. You will be surprised how fast you can pay off a credit card this way with a debt snowball. It will not be overnight, but once done you never have to worry about it again — unlike a debt consolidation loan.
Now that you have paid off that first credit card, take the monthly payment from it and add it to your next largest card. If your first card was costing you $20 a month minimum, and you added $10 a month to that, you now take that entire $30 a month and apply it to your second credit card. You will probably pay this one off even faster than the first. Now, you are drastically reducing credit card debt with the goal of complete elimination. What a great feeling!