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3 Ways To Conquer Credit Card Debt

Automate out of debt.


DES MOINES, Iowa – In 2011, the national average credit card balance was $6,576, down from $7,404 in 2010. While it’s nice to see an improvement on the national average, any amount of debt can feel like you have an elephant climbing on your back.

“You may be in a better situation … or it may also be worse,” comments tax expert Jim McClaflin, from his office near Des Moines. “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 McClaflin 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, McClaflin 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,” McClaflin noted.

3. You can negotiate with your credit card company. And 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.

“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.” McClaflin said.

Accounting & Tax Professionals provides financial services to both individuals and businesses. Give him a call (515) 986-5843, email or visit his website


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