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Free advice on problem debt
based on what's best for you

0800 138 1111Freephone (including all mobiles)

Credit card debt reduction

If you are struggling with your credit card bills, we can help you find the best way towards credit card debt reduction.

Through our online debt advice service, StepChange Debt Remedy, we can assess your finances and recommend the very best debt solution for your circumstances. Our priority is to allow you enough money to pay your essential bills and living expenses while reducing your credit card debt and any other debts you have.

If you are worried about the level of your debts, it is important that you seek help as soon as possible. Rest assured that, as the UK’s number one debt help charity, all our services are completely free and the advice we give is impartial and confidential.

Credit card debt reduction tips

Try to pay off as much as you can afford on your credit card every month to minimise the amount of interest added to your debt. Just paying the minimum amount will not reduce your credit card debt significantly.

Try not to miss payments because if you do, penalty fees could be added to your balance. If you can’t make a payment, always contact your credit card provider to let them know.

It is also very important to get professional advice if you cannot manage your credit card debt. Remember, our advice is free of charge.

StepChange Debt Remedy

Contact us though StepChange Debt Remedy to find out more about credit card debt reduction and how we can help you can solve your debt problems.

Credit card balance transfers

Some credit cards let you transfer the balance from another card. Transferring a debt from a card with a high rate of interest to one with low or 0% interest could help you pay off the debt faster.

But low or 0% interest credit cards are hard to get if you don’t have a good credit rating. This means you can’t rely on balance transfers as a way to deal with your credit card debts.

Also look out for fees when transferring a balance. Most credit card providers charge 2-3% of the amount you’re transferring as a one-off fee. If you’re transferring a balance to take advantage of a lower interest rate, the fees may mean you save less than you expect.

If you do transfer a balance, make sure you cut up the old credit card and close the account. Otherwise, you may be tempted to keep spending on both cards and you’ll end up with two debts.

0% interest credit cards

Some credit cards have an introductory period where no interest is charged. This period varies and some offer 0% interest for 18 months or more.

If you transfer to a 0% interest card, check the rate of interest when the 0% deal ends as this could be high. 

Also check what is covered by the 0% deal. Often this will be for card purchases only and withdrawing money from a cash machine will be charged at a higher rate.

0% deals may end early if you miss a payment.

Credit cards and your credit file

Your credit card provider will share information with credit reference agencies about the way you use your card. This information will help other creditors decide how risky it is to lend money to you.

Like all debts, your credit file will show information about your credit card debts:

  • The balance owed
  • Your payment history
  • Whether your account has defaulted

But credit card providers also share extra information on your credit file which other types of debt don’t show, including:

  • Your credit limit
  • How much you’ve spent each month
  • How much money you’ve withdrawn from a cash machine each month

Credit card debt advice

If you’re struggling to cover the minimum payments on your credit card, it’s time to get independent debt advice. Contact our Helpline on 0800 138 1111 (free from all landlines and mobiles) or try our free online Debt Remedy tool.

Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

*This is the average rating of our service on Feefo by DMP and DRO clients three months into their solution.

© StepChange Debt Charity 2016