BLOG  •

How to Pay Off Credit Card Debt Fast 

Kat Tretina
Pay off credit card debt fast.
Pay off credit card debt fast.

Before You Read, Lower Your Student Loan Payment

It’s that quick & easy — really. Our free tool checks a network of top refinance lenders and shows you options in one easy chart.
Checking rates takes 2 minutes with no impact on your credit
Federal & private loans are eligible
No maximum loan amount

Before You Read, Lower Your Student Payment

It’s that quick & easy — really. Our free tool checks a network of top refinance lenders and shows you options in one easy chart.

Checking rates takes 2 minutes with no impact on your credit
Federal & private loans are eligible
No maximum loan amount

Whether you overspent on your holiday shopping or have been carrying balances for a while, credit card debt can feel like an insurmountable obstacle. The important thing to remember is that you’re not alone. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, approximately 70% of adults in the U.S. have a credit card, and the average balance is about $5,000. 

If you want to learn how to pay off credit card debt fast, there are several ways to pay off your debt quickly and get your finances back on track. 

The Problem With Credit Card Debt 

Credit card debt can sneak up on you. Contactless payments and online shopping make purchasing items and services almost effortless, and it’s easy to lose track of your spending. Eventually, you may find yourself with an overwhelming balance that feels like it will never be paid off. 

High interest rates can also cause your credit card balances to grow. The average annual percentage rate (APR) is 18.43%, which means your debt accrues interest rapidly every month. With such a high rate, you can owe significantly more than you borrowed in a relatively short period of time. 

For example, let’s say you bought a $1,000 refrigerator to replace a broken one. You used a credit card that charges 18.43% APR on purchases. If your minimum payment was $30, it would take you 47 months — nearly four years — to pay it off. And you’d pay $1,396.72 in interest — nearly 40% more than the appliance’s purchase price.

Outsmart Rising Credit Card Interest Rates With a Personal Loan

Credit card APRs often exceed 20%. Get your finances on the right track today with a quick & easy personal loan from our marketplace of top-rated lenders

10 Tips for Paying Off Credit Card Debt 

If you’re wondering how to pay off credit card debt fast, use these tips to get started: 

1. Create a Budget

To get a handle on your credit card debt, you first need to create a budget. Calculate how much you earn each month, then look at your credit card bills and bank statements to see what expenses you have. Find out how much you spend on groceries, gas, entertainment, or takeout. And see how much you pay in interest on your credit card bills.  

Once you know where your money is going, you can make adjustments. You may be surprised on how much you spend on non-essentials, and trimming your entertainment budget and reducing how often you eat at restaurants can free up extra money to put toward your debt.  

2. Pay More Than the Minimum

The minimum credit card payment is usually between 2% and 3% of your balance. If you only pay the minimum, it’ll likely take years to pay off your debt and you’ll end up paying far more due to interest. However, if you can increase your payment by even a small amount, it’ll help you pay down your balance faster. 

Pay as much as you can toward the balance; even small extra payments of $10 or $20 per month can make a big difference over time.

3. Use the Debt Avalanche Method

The best way to pay off credit card debt when you have multiple cards with balances is the debt avalanche method.  This technique involves paying off the card with the highest APR first, while making minimum payments on all your other cards. Once you pay off the most expensive debt, move onto the card with the next-highest APR. 

Using this method can help you save money in interest and reduce how long it takes to pay off your debts.

4. Negotiate Your APR

The average APR is over 18%, causing interest to accrue rapidly. If you’re trying to get a handle on your debt, contact your credit card company and request a reduction in APR. Not all companies will agree to this, but it’s definitely worth a try. If it works, you can get a lower rate so more of your payments go toward the principal rather than interest, and you can save money and get rid of your debt faster. 

5. Consider a Balance Transfer

If high APRs are making it difficult to make progress, another option is a balance transfer. With this method, you transfer the balance from a higher-interest credit card to one with a lower APR. Some cards even offer 0% APR for a limited time, such as six to 18 months. 

If you qualify for a 0% APR promotional offer, you’ll have several months to chip away at your debt without paying interest. Just keep in mind that the regular APR will apply once the promotional period ends. 

6. Consolidate Your Debt

Another way to manage your debt is to consolidate your credit cards with a personal loan. This approach, known as debt consolidation, uses the loan to pay off your existing debt. Going forward, you’ll simply make one payment each month rather than multiple payments to different credit card companies. 

Debt consolidation loans are typically offered at lower interest rates than the average credit card APR, so you could save money on interest and pay off your debt faster. And debt consolidation loans typically have repayment terms of two to seven years, so you’ll have a predictable monthly payment. 

The American Institute of Certified Professional Accountants (CPAs) has a debt consolidation calculator you can use to find out what your payment would be if you consolidated your debt, and how much money you’d save over time.  

 

[Tip: Although you can use a home equity loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC) to consolidate credit card debt, think twice before doing it. Home equity loans and HELOCs are types of secured debt, and your home serves as collateral. If you default on the loan, you put your house at risk of foreclosure. Personal loans are unsecured, so there’s no risk of losing your home.]

Debt Consolidation Calculator

Personal loans can be used to consolidate your debt into a single loan with a new rate and term. See how much you can save by entering your loan information below.

Step 1: Enter Current Debt Information

Loan / Credit Card 1

Loan Balance
Your total debt to be repaid.
Interest Rate (APR)
The amount that the lender charges in interest, expressed as a percentage.
Current Monthly Payment
The amount you currently pay each month towards your existing debt
Add Loans or Credit Cards

Step 2: Enter New Loan Information

Interest Rate (APR)
Your new interest rate on your new loan
Term
The lenth of time you have to pay your new loan in full

Add Additional Loans or Credit Cards

Insert additional Loans or Credit Cards

Step 3: See How Much You Can Save

Current Debt Personal Loan Savings
Monthly Payment $600 $483 $117
Lifetime Interest $5,400 $2,399 $3,001
Time to Payoff Debt 2 yrs 10 mos 3 yrs 2 mos

Want to compare personalized prequalified rate offers from top personal loan companies? We’ve partnered with Credible to help get your finances back on track with free rate comparisons — with no impact on your credit score.

7. Delete Your Payment Info From Your Favorite Sites

If you tend to give in to the urge to impulse shop, deleting your payment information from sites is a great way to help you avoid making purchases you can’t really afford. 

You could also opt for cash-only shopping or try using prepaid debit cards. This will limit the amount of money you spend since it’s easier to track when you use cash. You’ll also be able to see exactly how much you have left in your budget so there won’t be any surprises at the end of the month.

8. Use Your Windfalls

Throughout the year, you may get some unexpected influxes of cash. Whether it’s a gift from a relative or your tax refund, surprise cash can help you make progress paying off your credit card debt.  

For example, the IRS reported that the average tax refund was over $3,000 in 2022. If you put the entire amount toward your balance, you could pay off a significant chunk of your debt. 

9. Increase Your Income

Boosting your income so you can put more money toward your credit card debt is key to becoming debt-free. Potential sources of income include: 

  • Selling items you no longer need on eBay, Mercari, or Poshmark
  • Babysitting or house sitting through Care.com 
  • Petsitting with Rover or Wag! 
  • Delivering groceries with Instacart 
  • Providing home organization services through TaskRabbit 

Credit Card Debt Piling Up?

Our marketplace of top lenders can help you pay off costly credit cards with a low-interest personal loan.
interstitial img holding cell phone

10. Meet With a Credit Counselor

Even after using these tips, you may be overwhelmed by your debt. If that’s the case, think about setting up an appointment with a non-profit credit counseling agency. A counselor will meet with you and review your debt. Depending on your situation, the counselor may help you create a budget and come up with a repayment plan, or they may encourage you to enroll in a debt management plan (DMP). 

If you sign up for a DMP, you’ll make one payment every month to the agency, and the agency will take the money and distribute it to your creditors. The agency will also talk to the creditors on your behalf to negotiate fees and rates so you can pay off your debt faster. Most DMP candidates can pay off their debt in five years or less. 

To find a reputable credit counseling agency, visit NFCC.org or contact your State Attorney General’s office.  

Paying Off Credit Card Debt 

If you’re researching how to pay off credit card debt fast, your debt is likely a significant burden. It may be a major stressor in your life, and may even prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.  

Although it may seem like a daunting task, paying off credit card debt is definitely possible. You can use the tips we’ve provided to chip away at your balances and regain control of your finances.  

If you are motivated to get rid of your debt quickly, debt consolidation can be a powerful tool. And with Purefy, you can compare rates from leading personal loan lenders to find the best match.  

You Might Also Like
Purefy - Compare Private Student Loan Consolidation & Refinance Options Quickly & Easily

Recommends

Student Loan Refinance

Today’s Rates Starting From 4.49% APR

Take the guesswork out of shopping for a student loan refinance. Compare real prequalified offers from multiple top rated lenders in 2 minutes with no impact on your credit score.

Compare Personal Loan Rates
From 15+ Top Lenders

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
No impact on credit — get results in 2 minutes.

Compare Student Loan Refinance Rates From Top-Rated Lenders

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
No impact on credit — get results in 2 minutes.
the best rates

Want To Find Out When Student Loan Refinance Rates Drop?

Join our email list to get instantly notified when rates change.

I am a(Required)