The new year is here, and you know what that means, right?
It means New Year’s resolutions.
Thousands of Las Vegans swear up and down that this year, without a doubt, they’ll finally get in shape, find a new job or even get out of debt.
That pledge to pay off your debt is one of the most common made every year.
And, Experian says the average Las Vegan has just under $4,400 in credit card debt.
Oh yeah – the average person in Las Vegas has a credit score of 642. That’s the second lowest in the nation.
Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst with CreditCards.com, offered KNPR's State of Nevada a few tips to help people succeeded in paying off their debt.
· Ask for a lower interest rate. It’s shocking how much this works. About two-thirds of credit cardholders who asked their issuer for a lower interest rate were successful, according to CreditCards.com. Why not try? The worst that can happen is they say no.
· Apply for a balance transfer. The best deals are Slate from Chase (no interest on balance transfers or new purchases for 15 months, no transfer fee in the first 60 days) and Citi Diamond Preferred (no interest on balance transfers or new purchases for 21 months, although there is a 3% or $5 transfer fee, whichever is greater). These are incredible deals for people who can pay the entire balance within the 0% timeframe. Act quickly – with the Federal Reserve starting to raise interest rates, they might not last much longer.
· Determine why you got into debt in the first place. Was this a temporary rough patch or a sign of bigger financial trouble like consistently spending beyond your means? If it’s the latter, find ways to save money like selling unwanted items on eBay and cutting expenses (especially recurring bills you might have forgotten, like a premium TV package or gym membership you aren’t using).
Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst, CreditCards.com
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