One positive outcome from the economic downturn of the past two years is that consumers are paying down their credit card debt.
In November, Equifax (EFX Quote) reported that credit card debt had declined 7.3% from a year ago. The latest Federal Reserve Consumer Credit said credit card debt fell in November for the 14th consecutive month. Revolving credit, the majority of which is credit card debt, has fallen more than $100 billion to $874 billion from $976.1 billion in October 2008.
5. Focus on the card with the highest interest rate first. Continue to pay the minimum on your other cards until the card with the highest rate is paid off, then focus your effort on the card next in line. Don't close all the cards that you pay off. Keep your oldest cards open and occasionally use them to buy a magazine or a movie ticket, and just pay it off each month. This will help improve your credit score.
10. Check your credit report. It may contain an error that is creating a lower credit score and higher interest rates for you. If you find an error on your credit report, contact the credit reporting firm. They must respond to your claim within 30 days or remove the information that is incorrect or can't be verified. You can dispute information by mail, by phone or online. If the corrected error results in a higher credit score, contact your creditors and ask for a lower interest rate.