Paying Off Credit Card Debt

Credit card debt can quickly become unmanageable if not dealt with straight away. This article explains the best way to pay off your credit card debt. Please read our article on credit card debt for more information on managing your credit card debt.


How can I pay off my credit card debt?


Needless to say, it is essential you stop using your credit card. Paying off as much as you can on the credit card with the highest rate of interest and the minimum payment on the others, until you have no credit card debt at all is another good tip. If you can get your balance transferred to a 0% balance transfer card – even better!


In an ideal world, we would use credit cards as a way of conveniently paying for things and getting over a month of free credit. We’d then pay the full amount off every month. However, too many of us use them as a form of a loan and don’t pay them off every month. They then become an expensive form of finance.


What if my credit card payment fails?


If the original ‘credit card payment’ doesn’t go through this means you actually haven’t paid for the goods yet. Making you liable to pay for them. If you think your credit card provider was at fault by not processing the payment at the time, then you should raise this with them as a separate matter. You should contact them and ask them to check how this has happened. If you are unhappy with their response you can escalate to a complaint and if you feel this has caused you any difficulty, or if you have suffered financially because of their mistake. The Financial Ombudsman Service has some guides on how to make a complaint.


Can I get a copy of my credit card agreement?


Financial institutions hold information about all of the products they have previously issued and the credit card company should be able to provide a copy of the terms and conditions that applied to agreements issued at that time, although they may no longer carry a physical signed copy of your agreement.

If this is still an active card then they should be able to provide this information when asked. If the card is no longer in use, perhaps an account that was closed many years ago then it may be that they have complied with the Data Protection Act as personal information cannot be held for longer than is necessary.

If you feel that they should be able to provide the information and have failed to do so then you can write a letter of complaint.


Will they freeze the interest on my credit card?


Most people think that if they cut their credit card up and return it then interest on it will freeze. However, in reality, most creditors will not freeze interest on your credit card, unless they have a good reason to do so.


Someone is using my credit card without permission, what can I do?


If someone took out the card in your name or used it without your permission they have committed fraud and as such you could dispute this debt with the creditor, making them aware. During the dispute, you can show them any evidence such as text messages and emails to prove that this is not your debt and you should not be held liable for it. If you can not prove this, then you are and will remain legally liable for the debt with the original lender.

If you let the other person use your credit card knowingly then you remain responsible for the debt and should seek further money advice.


Can I use consolidation loans to pay off my credit card debt?


A consolidation loan is one type of loan being taken out to pay others, which can be used to pay off credit card debt. Anything you bought using the card is yours.


Can I transfer names on a credit card?


It is unlikely that you would be able to transfer ownership of credit cards to someone else. But this could be down to the individual credit card provider. You should contact them and ask what options they have available.


Am I liable for paying half of my husbands credit card debts when divorcing?


Liability for the debts on the credit cards is defined by the credit agreement signed, if the agreement was in your husband’s name alone then he is liable for the debt. He may be expressing that he feels you should pay some of the debt as part of the divorce process but that would not be something that a debt adviser would be able to comment on.


Cahoot credit card debt – What do I  do?


If you are struggling to make payments towards your cahoot card you should contact a free debt counselling service who will be able to fully consider your case and establish which options are currently available to you at this time.  You could be running the risk of the creditor taking further enforcement action against you through the county court.

Alternatively, you could write to the creditor and ask them to write off the debt. If the creditor agrees to no longer pursue the debt you should ask them to send you confirmation in writing. You could also negotiate a payment plan with your creditors. From this, you might be able to pay in full or pay it back monthly. You may also have many other debts and need to use some form of legal process to deal with your debts.

Putting together a financial statement to see what is possible, and what needs to be avoided, is something that any free debt adviser can help you do. They would look at your income, daily living costs, assets and debts and from there can discuss all options available to you.

Talk to Tad and find out your debt score.

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