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How can D.C. residents manage their credit card debts better?

For most Americans, D.C. residents included, credit cards offer considerable financial flexibility when consumers do not have enough cash on hand to make purchases or when they plan to pay off larger purchases in the near future. There is, however, a tendency for people to use the cards too frequently and to end up nearing the credit limit and paying exorbitant amounts of interest. This can create a hole that is tough to get out of and that damages a person's credit rating. Fortunately, there are at least two highly effective ways to eliminate credit card debts with a little planning and thought.

Pay off the most expensive debt first. This could be the card closest to its credit limit or the card with a high balance and the highest interest rate. No doubt this is difficult, but it provides some financial wiggle room that makes paying off other cards easier in the long run.

Another option is to transfer all credit card balances to a zero-interest card account. This provides enough time to pay the debts off without worrying about interest compounding the debt -- assuming the cards do not get used again. Check a card account's fine print first, though. Some zero-interest cards require full payment by a certain date or they set retroactive interest rates back to the date the transfers are made.

Although these tips can certainly help eliminate most credit card debts, sometimes debts are so massive that the only way to effectively eliminate them is through a bankruptcy filing. Personal bankruptcy -- whether Chapter 17, Chapter 13 or some other type -- can provide a debtor with the chance to become debt free while retaining certain assets. The guidance of a bankruptcy professional can help D.C. residents determine which type of bankruptcy they might qualify for.

Source: Fox Business,4 Ways to Pay Off Credit-Card Debt Tracy Byrnes, Jan. 16, 2015

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