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Here's how to manage credit card debt

Many Washington residents struggle with high levels of debt. For some, the total amount owed comes as something of a shock. Relying on credit cards to get through financial shortfalls, or simply paying the minimum amount owed for many years can result in a staggering volume of credit card debt. Here are some tips for effectively managing that debt load. 

One place to begin is by negotiating directly with credit card companies to explore available debt management options. Some companies will offer lower interest rates, extended grace periods or even overhauled repayment terms. Reaching out to a credit card company may seem intimidating, but the card issuer has a vested interest in finding a way for consumers to repay their debts, so they are often more than willing to help find a creative solution. 

Balance transfers can be another good option, but only for consumers who are highly disciplined. Transferring balances from one card to another can result in very low interest rates, but consumers must adhere to the outlined rules to take advantage of those rates. It's also important to understand the fees associated with these offers, as well as the time period in which the lower rate applies. 

With the right degree of motivation and effort, it's possible to make great strides in managing credit card debt. That can help Washington consumers gain control over their finances and stave off additional budget crunches. If these efforts do not yield the desired approach, it may be time to sit down with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss additional debt relief options. 

Source: Forbes, "Swimming In The Deep End Of Debt? Here Are Your Best Options", Liz Frazier Peck, March 19, 2018

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