Credit cards if not used properly can lead anyone into a debt trap, this is something I realized when I myself fell into one. I was a spendthrift and never thought of my spends until one day I checked my credit card statement and saw my outstanding to be ₹3 lakhs! In here, I will be telling you how I got rid of my credit card debt of ₹3 lakhs. That too, in just six months with proper planning! Also, I will focus on how to pay off credit card debt when you have no money!
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My name is Shubham Pandey and I hate to admit this but I used to be a prodigal with more than 5 credit cards with me at a point of time. Now, I don’t say that having 5 credit cards are not good; however, it is only beneficial if you know how to manage it properly.
I used my credit cards for plane tickets, concerts, shopping, dining – whatever I felt was needed in that exact moment and my paycheck couldn’t afford. In order to avoid too many hassles of facing the amount spent, I used to make the minimum amount to be paid. Although this helped me avoid the agent calls, I was in credit card debt in no time due to the double-digit interest rates.
I knew I was abusing my credit cards but I felt there was nothing could be done at that time. After continuous thrift spends on shopping and dining, I was sent a credit card statement that showed my outstanding balance of ₹3 lakhs. I knew it that I had fallen into the debt trap and need a stringent plan to get out of it.
This put everything in perspective and made me think of finding out the answer to the question how to pay off credit card debt when you have no money.
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Well, my parents raised me to fear the plastic money and here I was facing money troubles due to the same. Nevertheless, I decided to wipe my slate clean. Here are a few steps that I took to tackle my aggressive debt payoff of ₹3 lakhs in six months.
I was not good at finances. However, I understood if I have to get out of this trap, I will have to assess my financial standing. I sat and assessed my expenses and income and the debt I had. Thereafter, I made a strategized plan to clear the debt by making lifestyle changes.
Once I understood the debt I had, the next important step was to go hard on my expenses. I cut down most of my expenses, almost by 95 percent. Instead of spending on eating out or concerts or movies, I looked out for free options. A few simple steps such as hanging out with friends at home instead of restaurants and visiting free concerts helped me save more than ₹30000 every month!
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This is one of the best answers to the question how to pay off credit card debt when you have no money. If you keep money in hand, you will spend it in no time! It requires a lot of diligence and willpower which is hard nowadays; given the number of exciting options out there! So, when I started saving money by cutting down my expenses, I invested half of the money and kept half of the money to repay my debt.
A debt trap is not an emergency and therefore using your emergency fund for the same is not viable. The emergency fund should not be utilized unless in medical emergencies or loss of a job. It is best to make changes to your lifestyle rather than using your savings to repay your credit card debts.
Have I never been in a debt trap after this? I’d say no! Since emergencies always come uninvited, I have used my credit card beyond my means. However, I have always made a point to repay the credit card bills in full. Moreover, I have understood that credit card can be a good way to replace making payments via cash/debit cards but it always remains to be a financial tool. I hope this answers the question of how to pay off credit card debt when you have no money.
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