Survey shows most Americans would give up social media to erase their credit card debt
According to a survey by Experian, most Americans would completely give up social media to get rid of their debt.
Credit card debt has continued to climb to more than $1 trillion, with the average cardholder having a balance of more than $6,300. The report also said one in three Americans are losing sleep over their debt and one quarter said the debt has hurt their relationships with family.
However, many said they would take extreme measures, such as giving up social media, before seeking help.
The report stated that 68 percent with credit card debt are concerned about how they'd pay it off, but have very few plans in place to get rid of it. Eight percent of the survey takers said they would never be able to pay their debts off. Josh Harris, a faculty member at Clemson University and financial planner at Signature Wealth, said many times, consumers don't fully understand how to use credit cards in their overall financial plan.
The report offered ways to pay off your card debt that don't include giving up something you love.:
1. Look for money in your home
If you own a home, you might consider tapping your equity, which likely comes with a lower interest rate than your credit card. Thanks to the new tax law, however, the interest you pay on that loan typically isn't deductible unless it's used toward qualified home improvement expenses, according to the Internal Revenue Service.
“Millions of American homeowners are sitting on a hidden source of wealth – their home,” said Kevin Dahlstrom, chief marketing officer at Mr. Cooper. “As consumer debt continues to reach all-time highs, tappable home equity is also at its highest level on record.”
2. Follow a strategic payment plan
Two popular methods for paying off debt are the “debt avalanche” or “debt snowball.” The avalanche prioritizes paying off the highest interest loan first, while the snowball says to pay off the smallest debt first. Find a plan that works for you and stick to it.
3. Negotiate your rate
In some cases, you can negotiate for a lower interest rate. In addition, you can also consider consolidating your debt either with a personal loan or a low-rate transfer.
4. Pick up a side hustle
Having a second job could bring in enough extra cash to make a huge dent in monthly bills. The average person with a side hustle made $686 per month, according to a recent study by Bankrate.com.
5. Actively stick to a budget
Over half of the respondents of the Mr.Cooper survey said that even though they had debt, they did not have a budget. To eliminate debt, it’s important to have a basic financial plan in place, and the first step is looking at your expenses to determine where you could cut back.
“Focus on what behaviors brought you to this situation and what steps you can take to eliminate the stress and debt going forward,” said Harris.