If you have gotten yourself into a substantial credit card debt, it can feel hard to pay off any of these amounts with the small dents that each month's minimum payments makes on your overall debt. Here are some strategies you can use to pay off your debt and start getting ahead financially.

The biggest first technique

Many financial experts suggest paying the minimum payment on all but the highest interest bearing debt, then funneling all of your spare funds into the card with the highest interest bearing debt. Once you pay off this highest interest bearing debt, you then funnel all of the spare funds into the next interest bearing debt. This minimises the amount of interest you pay.

The snowball technique

The next technique, popularised by Dave Ramsay, is pay the minimum amount on every debt but the card with the lowest balance, and then funneling the rest of your spare money onto the card with the smallest balance. Once this is paid off you then move on to the next smallest balance, and the amount that you can funnel each pay period towards this smallest balance 'snowballs' as accounts are paid down. This does not necessarily minimise the interest being paid, but can help you to pay off some cards earlier, which can help with your overall emotional momentum as you start to balance less and less monthly payments and statements and can feel that you are truly getting on top of your debt.

The card shuffle

If you are still receiving credit card offers, you can modify these techniques by using low interest credit card balance transfers and transferring the balance of single cards onto the new low or zero interest cards and paying these off before the low interest period ends. If you are not able to do this, you can also try calling the credit card company to negotiate a lower interest rate.

Debt consolidation

If you have a large number of debts it can make sense to roll these into a single payment by consolidating them into a loan, and directing all funds into this single loan. This can help you to simplify your situation but can sometimes extend the amount of interest you pay if the average interest rate is not lower than the credit card interest rate, or the debt ends up being paid off over a longer time period.

If you need some help to pay off your credit card debt it can be useful to meet with a financial advisor to come up with a personalised financial payments that suits your circumstances.