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Which credit card do I pay off first?

If you are like most Americans, you have a bit of credit card debt to take care of. In fact, the average household has more than $7,000 in debt, leaving many families unsure how they are going to get out of the hole. No matter how you look at it, there are three general methods for paying down the debt once and for all.

The first option is to pay the smallest debts off first. While you may end up paying more in interest over time, there is something motivational about seeing debt balances reach zero. Of course, you will still need to continue paying the other debts as well, but dedicate more resources to easier goals. When you have paid off some of the smaller debts, you will have more money to pay towards the larger ones.

Another method is to tackle the cards with the highest interest, regardless of the debt size. That way, you are paying less over time. Once that one is conquered, simply move down the line while still making payments on the other cards. This can be a slower approach, but it will almost always be the cheapest.

Finally, you can go for a sweet spot in between these two methods. Target each card roughly equally and see them all shrink together. This method is often the most time-consuming, but it does save you from having to do the math on which card(s) to attack first. No matter the method you choose, it is important to always make at least the minimum payments on time.

If you are deep in credit card debt and can’t find a way to pay it off, bankruptcy may be your best choice. Speaking with an attorney on the matter may help in this situation.

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