Americans continue to hold high levels of credit card debt. I estimate that as of January 2011, we have more than $2,500 of credit card debt for every man, woman and child in the United States. To help consumers better understand the time and money implications of paying off credit cards using only minimum payments, Bills.com introduced the Minimum Payments Calculator.
Our simple yet powerful calculator compares how long it will take cardholders to pay off their debt and the total amount of interest they will pay when making minimum credit card payments versus fixed payments.
Credit Card Hardship Programs
You have several options to resolve your credit card debt. Which debt resolution option is the best for you depends on several considerations, including your income, your balances, your interest rates, and your creditors.
The first solution would be to call your credit card issuer and ask to be placed on their hardship program and state that you want to keep making payments but you would like the account to be re-aged and the interest rate reduced so that you can get back on track.
Banks do not publish the terms and conditions of their hardship programs. Indeed, some banks will not even acknowledge publicly that they offer hardship programs. Therefore, the only way to learn if your bank offers a hardship program is to call the customer service department and ask.
Some banks' hardship programs will close the account. Others will allow you to continue to use the account. Be sure to ask about this detail. Because banks do not publish the terms and conditions of their hardship programs, these programs may change at any time, and may vary by the customer and their circumstances.
Other Resolution Programs
You can also resolve your debt with credit card counseling, debt resolution, or bankruptcy. See the Bills.com resource What Are My Debt Resolution Options? to learn more about these options. There is no one-size-fits-all solution that works best for every consumer. You need to weigh the positives and negatives of each approach, and pick the one that fits your needs.
I hope this information helps you Find. Learn & Save.