When Not to Pay Off Your Credit Cards

I just read a great article by Anya Kamenetz. It’s one of the few pieces I’ve read that provides some great real world advice about when not to pay your credit cards.

As Anya says, “Of course, you can also focus on increasing your income, perhaps by taking a part-time job and dedicating all the funds to pay down the balance. Or take the virtue pledge route: quit drinking, smoking, video games or some other vice and put the extra money you save into paying down that debt little by little. Finally, you could ask family or friends for loans or contributions to help you get out of debt once and for all.

But all of these approaches are based on one assumption: that you got into credit card debt through simple, unnecessary overspending. And I know, because I’ve been on this beat for 11 years, that not everyone who is struggling with debt is actually that irresponsible.

Sometimes people are caught between a rock and a hard place. Incomes have been stagnant for the middle and working classes for a long time in America. Credit card debt fills in the gaps, even when it shouldn’t.

And that’s why I’m writing this column to let you know there a few situations in which you should — I repeat, should — let that credit card debt wait.”

If this resonates with you, click here to read her full article on the Chicago Tribune.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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