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.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 BudgetTo 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 MinimumThe 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 MethodThe 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 APRThe 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 TransferIf 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 DebtAnother 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. 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 10. Meet With a Credit CounselorEven 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.