How To Pay Off $30K in Credit Card Debt
12 MIN READ
Published January 03, 2024 | Updated January 03, 2024
Consumers across America are facing more economic struggles as credit card debt balances rise to over $1 trillion. If you’ve fallen into a cycle of making minimum payments or carrying a balance on your card each month, you’re not alone.
Eliminating a large debt like $30k can seem like an impossible task, but it’s not. With the right plan, you can pay off your credit card debt in a reasonable amount of time. In this article, we share expert tips on how to pay down $30,000 or more in credit card debt and provide practical steps you can take to start keeping more of your income, including:
- Debt Settlement
- Debt Consolidation
- Debt Snowball/Avalanche
- Debt Management Plans
- Balance Transfer
Benefits of Paying Off Credit Card Debt
When you make paying off your unsecured credit card debt a priority, you’ll save more of your income and broaden your financial options. Imagine having extra income to put toward buying a new car or eliminating student loans.
Throughout the process, you’ll also learn more about personal finance and be better prepared to handle debt in the future. You may even start to repair your credit, if it’s been less-than-perfect recently, by making on-time payments, putting you on the path to good or even excellent credit once your credit card debt is paid in full. Read on to learn more about how you can pay off $30k or more in credit card debt.
How To Get Started Paying Off Debt
The faster you decide to start eliminating credit card debt through smart financial choices, the quicker you can achieve your goal. It takes dedication and planning, but there are several steps you can take immediately to begin lowering your debt burdens, including the following options:
Switch To Cash or a Debit Card
If you stop charging more on your card, you can begin to tackle the outstanding balances hanging over your bank account. Plan to stop all credit purchases and buy everything with cash or on a debit card to control what you spend. Some consumers even set up envelopes with enough cash for monthly needs in categories like food or gasoline.
Set Achievable Goals
Write out a plan and stick to it. Consider setting ambitious yet achievable quarterly goals for yourself that describe exactly how much you want to pay off by a certain time. Creating a monthly budget is also a goal you can easily track using a digital spreadsheet, personal accounting software, or any one of the dozens of mobile apps that specialize in personal finance. Once you account for all of your expenses, you may find you have extra cash to put toward your debt payoff.
Paying off large amounts of debt is an overwhelming task. Instead of handling it on your own, find someone you can trust to keep you accountable. This can be a professional financial advisor, a parent, or a friend who understands your situation. Check in with this mentor often to stay motivated and discuss your options for paying off debt.
Review Your Credit Report
You’re entitled to view your credit history for free from all three major credit reporting agencies at least once a year. Even if you’re not in debt, it’s important to check for any errors that may be negatively impacting your credit score. Knowing your numbers prepares you to work with lenders and helps you understand how debt is affecting your financial history.
Cut Unnecessary Spending
It may seem like an obvious statement, but if you’re trying to pay off $30k in debt quickly, it’s time to dig deep and find ways to cut back. The average American consumer spends $219 a month on subscription services. Take a look at your monthly subscriptions and eliminate what you can.
Another big drain on your spending is food costs. Limit how many times you eat out, in favor of making your own meals at home and buy non-brand items at the grocery store to save even more.
Simple lifestyle changes can help you save more of your income. Once you pay off that debt, you can start a vacation fund instead and be better positioned to know where to splurge and when it’s time to spend less.
Fastest Ways to Pay Off $30K in Credit Card Debt
Let’s take a detailed look at some of the quickest ways to pay off $30,000 or more in credit card debt:
Debt Management Plan
Many nonprofit credit counseling agencies help consumers set up a plan to pay off debt. Once you enroll in a program with a certified credit counselor, you’ll work together to create a debt management plan that organizes your credit cards and other debts into a single monthly payment.
After your creditors agree to the plan, you’ll start making payments through the credit counseling organization, which will then make payments on your behalf every month to each of your lenders, according to the repayment plan you’ve worked out with each of them.
Some credit counselors can even speak to creditors on your behalf to negotiate for lower interest rates on your debt balances. They may also ask lenders to waive fees for late payments. However, if you miss a payment, you’ll likely lose these benefits.
Another option to clear $30k in debt is to eliminate some of it using a debt settlement. You can do this on your own or through a debt relief organization like TurboDebt. With the help of our expert team, we’ve enrolled an average debt of $23,000 per client, saving them an average of 54% of their total debt before fees.
The process of debt settlement involves negotiating with creditors to reduce what you owe. You accomplish this by agreeing to settle your debt as paid in full by offering a one-time lump sum amount, typically at 50%-60% of your balance, instead of attempting to pay down your entire balance over time. Debt settlement organizations handle these negotiations and set up a savings account you’ll use to build the funds needed to pay off your settled amount.
If you choose debt settlement, you’ll likely have to stop paying on your debt to save the money for the lump sum payoff. While your credit score will also be impacted for a time, many borrowers are able to pay off a large amount of debt quickly through this method, after which they can start rebuilding their credit.
Debt Consolidation Loans
If you want to “refinance” your debts into a single monthly payment and eliminate multiple high-interest accounts, a debt consolidation loan may be an effective option. First, you’ll need to qualify for a loan big enough to cover all of your current debts. This works best if you carry a good credit score since you’re more likely to secure an interest rate that’s considerably lower than what you’d pay on your existing debts.
Once you take out a debt consolidation loan, you’ll pay off all your current debts, leaving you with one payment to make each month toward the new loan. Before you pursue this solution, however, it’s a good idea to read the terms of the loan carefully. Depending on the length of the consolidation loan’s repayment term, you may wind up paying more overall if you don’t secure a low enough interest rate.
A final solution you may have to pursue if you owe $30k or more in credit card debt is filing for bankruptcy. To complete this process, you’ll typically work with a bankruptcy attorney who petitions the court to resolve your debts through a judge.
Individuals usually file either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy to pay off debts by selling their assets or by restructuring debt payments over a 3-5 year period. Since this solution results in a long-term negative impact on all three of your credit reports and credit scores, filing for bankruptcy is usually considered a “last resort” alternative when compared to other debt relieft solutions.
Other Strategies To Pay Off $30K in Debt Fast
Here are a few other strategies to consider to help you pay off $30k in credit card debt:
Use a Balance Transfer Credit Card
One alternative strategy to quickly pay off $30k in debt is to open a balance transfer credit card and move all or a large portion of your current debt to this new account. Many credit card companies offer balance transfer cards with a 0% intro APR (annual percentage rate) that can save you hundreds of dollars in interest as you pay back your outstanding balance.
However, after an introductory period on a balance transfer account, credit card interest typically rises right back to the credit card’s standard APR of 20% or higher. Another factor to note is that the card issuer typically charges a one-time transfer fee (usually 3%-5% of the transferred balance) to move your debts to the new account. Before you choose this method, do some research to find the best credit cards for completing a balance transfer and look for the lowest APR.
D-I-Y Debt Snowball/Avalanche
If do-it-yourself debt relief appeals to you, consider using the snowball or avalanche method. In debt snowball, you’ll work on paying off your smallest outstanding debts first to build momentum and eventually pay off the big ones. Debt avalanche uses the opposite approach and instead encourages consumers to pay off their largest or highest interest rate balances from the start and work down to smaller balances after that.
Whichever method you choose, make a plan to determine how much you can put towards your payments each month. When determining the order of balances to pay off first, it’s also a good idea to consider which card carries the highest interest rate. Credit cards with a higher APR may ultimately cost more, even if the balance isn’t the biggest.
Reduce Your Interest Rates
Reducing interest rates is an effective way to make debt repayment easier and quicker. Here are some ways you can do it:
- Work with a certified credit counselor
- Contact your creditors to negotiate for lower interest rates
- Transfer your balance to a 0% APR credit card
- Refinance your debt with a consolidation loan that offers a lower, fixed-rate APR for the entire term of the loan
Borrow From Your Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plan
While this option isn’t ideal, it is a way to pay off large amounts of debt quickly. Contact your plan’s financial institution or your retirement plan’s administrator to determine how you can withdraw the funds or even borrow against them if your plan allows participants to take out loans.
If you do borrow from your employer-sponsored 401(k), 403(b), or other profit-sharing plan to pay off debt, make sure you have a plan to pay the money back as soon as you can to avoid losing important retirement assets for your future. There are also tax laws in place that require you to pay mandatory IRS-imposed penalties on top of ordinary income taxes when you take money out of your retirement savings early.
Leverage Your Home Equity
Some debtors decide to use their homes to pay off debt through a home equity line of credit (HELOC). A HELOC is a personal revolving line of credit that often carries a variable interest rate and a credit limit that’s based on the equity you have in your property.
A home equity loan is typically a fixed-term, fixed-rate second mortgage loan that also uses the equity in your home as security for the loan. This solution may offer you a way to consolidate your debts at a lower interest rate since both a HELOC and a traditional home equity loan are considered secured debts that use your home as collateral. It’s important to note, though, that if you fail to make payments and fall far enough behind, you may risk losing your home.
Start a Side Hustle
“If you find that cutting back on your expenses doesn’t help you free up enough extra cash flow each month to put toward paying down your debt more quickly, you might consider ways to increase your income instead,” shares Brad Reichert, debt expert and founder and managing director of Reichert Asset Management LLC.
Reichert notes that in today’s “gig economy,” it’s easy to start a side business you can run on nights and weekends to raise a little extra cash you can put toward reducing your debt.
The Bottom Line on Paying Off $30,000 in Credit Card Debt
Paying off $30,000 is possible with the right plan and dedication to make consistent payments toward your debts. Making smart financial choices and small lifestyle changes is an immediate way to start saving money to pay off what you owe on your credit cards. Try budgeting and cutting expenses wherever you can to start putting aside more money for debt repayment.
Consider getting professional help from experts like the team at TurboDebt. We’ve already helped thousands of clients overcome high debt balances. Check out our collection of positive reviews to hear from actual clients. When you contact us for a free consultation, we can make a plan together to help you become debt-free once again.