4 Steps to Beat Credit Card Debt for Good

Photo: ThinkstockBy Suze Orman

Assess the purchases that put you in the hole. Are they "needs," like utilities or medical bills, or "wants"? Simply reviewing your statement honestly can make you realize how easily the "wants" creep up--and help you curb your spending going forward.

Pay more than the minimum, even if it's just an extra $20 a month. Otherwise you're playing right into the card company's hands--the less you pay per month, the longer you're indebted to them.

RELATED: Are You on the Road to Financial Independence?

Read the fine print. In the past, it was a no-brainer to transfer a balance to a new card with a promotional low (or zero) introductory rate, usually for a fee of up to 75 bucks. But now, as you'll learn by inspecting the promo terms, the fee is often 3 percent of the amount being transferred.

RELATED: How to Avoid Hidden Fees

Get help. The Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies can connect you with a reputable counselor who will guide you through your payment options and even, when appropriate, negotiate a repayment plan with your creditors.

RELATED: Suze Orman's 10 Tips for a Fresh Financial Start

More from Oprah.com:


9 Quotes to Help You Unwind
The Best $25-or-Less Anti-Aging Products
7 Tips to Get the Prettiest Table
10 Things That Should Never Stop You From Writing Your Story
Subscribe to O, The Oprah Magazine and save up to 78%

Like O, The Oprah Magazine on Facebook

Financially Fit Feedback:Take our Survey »

Follow Shine

POLL

What extra baking essentials do you purchase?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options

PICK OF THE DAY

  • Bad financial habits to ditch in 2013
    Bad financial habits to ditch in 2013

    Don’t let these bad financial habits keep you from your long-term spending goals. Identify your weaknesses and start remedying them. …