As a teenager I loved buying new clothes every week, and got drawn into signing up for various store cards from New Look to River Island and even Argos. I racked up debts on each of these up to £500 each and would only ever pay off the minimum payments which meant in the long run I was worse off as I was most likely paying back double the amount due to high interest fees.
Store cards are dangerous and here are some tips on what to do if you find yourself getting into debt with store cards and how to get out of debt:
1. Don't just pay the minimum amount - That's not going to have your debt paid off anytime soon. The debt could end up increasing if you only pay off the minimum amount each month as the interest will be constantly adding up which will take you much longer to pay it back. Even if you just pay off a small amount each month it will make a difference.
2. Pay of the most expensive debt first - By doing this you are helping yourself pay off your debts quicker. Store cards usually are more expensive than other credit card debts due to their interest rates and will take you longer to pay off which is why it's best to pay them off first. Once you've paid off the card with the most debt then you can move onto paying the next most expensive card debt.
3. Transfer your balance to a 0% interest balance transfer credit card which will help pay off any debt much quicker and easier.
4. Don’t be tempted to start using the old card again – it may be best to close the old account and destroy the store card.
5. In future, instead of opening a store card to go on a spending spree why not start a money tin which you cant open unless you break it. That way you will be less tempted to break it until it is full.
Have you ever found yourself in debt with store cards like myself?
* In collaboration with TSB
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