Living with the oppressive burden of credit card debt can be incredibly stressful, and breaking bad financial habits takes practice and dedication. For many borrowers, a debt-free future is achievable through hard work, financial education, and restraint. If you have recently conquered your credit card debt, you deserve heartfelt congratulations! You have overcome a major roadblock to good financial health. However, without careful consideration for your next steps, you might quickly find yourself back in debt. Keep these tips in mind as you navigate the world debt-free.
Avoid Slipping Back Into Old Habits That Can Lead to Credit Card Debt
The most important thing you can do after paying off your credit card balance is to avoid reverting to the behaviors that helped you accrue that debt in the first place. Take stock of the beneficial habits you have utilized to pay off your credit card debt. While you may be able to relax some of the rules you have given yourself to limit spending, you should avoid falling back into unhealthy financial patterns.
Reevaluate Your Finances
Now that your credit card debt is out of the picture, take a discerning look at your finances. Consider student loan debt, medical debt, mortgages, and car payments that may be negatively impacting your overall financial health. Decide which debt to tackle next, taking interest rates into account. While it may seem appealing to pay off the remainder of a smaller loan, it might be more beneficial to tackle larger balances if their interest rates are higher.
Depending on where you are in life, you might have some significant expenses or investments on your radar. Having children, buying a house, and planning for retirement are all critical milestones to address in your financial plan. Evaluate the progress you have made towards these goals so far. In examining your long-term financial goals, you may find that putting your extra cash towards retirement will work out better in the long run than paying off your current low-interest loans.
Don’t Shred That Credit Card Just Yet
You might be tempted to close your accounts, shred your credit cards, and vow never to open another line of credit. However, learning to use your credit cards responsibly can be a much more rewarding option than eschewing them entirely. Keeping a few lines of credit open and active can boost your credit score, assuming that you don’t spend more than you should. Ideally, you should pay off your balances on time each month. At a minimum, you should keep your balance below 30 percent of your available credit if you want your credit score to remain healthy.
Improve Financial Proficiency with EveryIncome
EveryIncome is dedicated to providing our clients with career and finance management tools to help them create a stable financial future. Regardless of where you are in life, our system of tools and guided learning is tailored to fit your specific needs. Take control of your financial health today. Contact the team at EveryIncome online or give us a call at (571)370-5400. For more tips and tricks to foster financial wellness, follow EveryIncome on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.