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3 Great Ways To Beat Credit Card Debt

Taking the mountain off your back.


Orlando, FL, July 2012:  The national average credit card balance for 2011 was $6,576, down from $7,404 the previous year — and while it’s certainly nice to see improvement, any kind of debt can feel like you have an NFL defensive end climbing on your back.

“You may be in a better situation … it may also be worse,” comments CPA Gray Laney (, from his office in Orlando. “So, to answer the questions we often get around here from clients facing tough times, I’ve put together a step-by-step process which we often help people work through.” A few points of the plan Laney recommends:

1. If you ever hope to pay off your credit card debt, pay more than the minimum payment each month. If you only pay the minimum payment each month, your bill could continue to increase, even if you completely stop using your card.

2. Implement a regular *system* for credit card debt reduction. With online banking and automatic payment options, there are GREAT tools for ensuring you don’t mess up because of administrative chaos. If you feel you can’t manage all your bills by pen and paper, there are several good software programs available for keeping track of your financial records.

In fact, Laney recommends that you automate a payment above the minimum monthly payment, just to be certain that you start getting ahead of the game. “Those minimum payments are rigged against you, and the only way to get ahead is to … get ahead,” notes Laney.

3. You can negotiate with your credit card company. No, you do not need to be an attorney or other professional to negotiate with your credit card company (you will need patience and persistence though). The rising amount of consumer debt in this country has made creditors realize that they need to be more understanding of their customers — if they hope to get any money back. If you file bankruptcy, they are only going to get pennies on the dollar, so they are usually willing to make deals.

Lastly, Laney urges, don’t let the IRS be one of those creditors. Let a competent professional help you with your tax planning and filing, to ensure yourself one less creditor to worry about--and probably more money for you to use for getting ahead.

Gray Laney, CPA co-founded Laney & Laney, P.A. in 1975 with his late father, Marion G. Laney, Sr.

Laney has also been a member of the Florida Institute of CPA’s for over 36 years, and his team provides financial services to both individuals and businesses. Give him a call (407) 425-2657, email or visit his website


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