Before you switch up your credit card spending strategy or consider applying for a new credit card, its important to consider your cash flow and spending habits. Use our credit card spending study to identify the balance you can afford, based on the ability to pay off all of your credit card debt within three months. This gives you an idea of how much you might need to save or borrow to make all of your purchases.

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Begin by writing down the credit card debt you currently have, and how much you would like to pay off in three months. Well use this information to estimate how much of a boost to your overall spending you might get if you used your current credit card balances to pay off your debt. You should know that credit card debt is not the same thing as credit card interest. For instance, just because your balance has increased to the limit of your credit card, it doesnt mean that you have to take that additional payment. Your monthly payment might actually be lower, if your APR is lower or if you have longer payment terms. Dont expect to get a huge boost in your spending if you cant take out the full amount you have applied for on time. The important thing is to understand how much credit card debt you have, and how much you need to pay down.

Next, apply the debt repayment strategy to your credit card balances. A good first step is to simply increase the amount youve borrowed from your credit card and ignore any debt payments that remain outstanding. You can apply credit card interest at rates that are considerably lower than the annual percentage rates (APRs) you already pay for your credit card debt. You can also ask the credit card issuer to waive its annual fee and offer you an introductory period of interest-free, low-rate debt in exchange for extending the length of your credit line.

Next, try switching up your card spending plan. Paying off the balance you have now will not reduce the amount of debt you owe. You will be expected to pay that amount off within a certain amount of time, and any bonus points or other rewards that you earn on a monthly basis will be lost. If you decide that a new credit card offers more benefits than the old one, you might want to evaluate whether or not you really cant afford to keep using your existing credit card balance.