There are different reasons why people end up with credit card debt. In some cases, it can be a matter of overspending. In others, it can boil down to unplanned expenses that pop up at the wrong time or in short order.

But either way, if you owe money on your credit cards, those monthly payments may be monopolizing an uncomfortably large chunk of your income. In fact, early 2024 data from New York Life shows that on average, consumers with credit card debt are putting $363.07 per month toward paying it off.

If you’re doing something similar, you may be frustrated by having to part with that much money on a monthly basis. So if you’re tired of forking over $363 a month, or a sum in that vicinity, you may want to look at these options for making your debt less expensive.

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1. A balance transfer

A balance transfer lets you take the balances on your credit cards and move them over to a single card — usually one with a 0% introductory APR. Not only can that make your debt easier to manage, but it could make it less expensive.

However, with a balance transfer, you only get a limited amount of time to avoid accruing interest. And once your card’s introductory period comes to an end, the interest rate on it could soar.

For this reason, proceed with caution if you’re interested in a balance transfer. Read the fine print (because there will generally be fees associated with making that move) and understand how long your introductory APR period lasts and what happens once it expires.

2. A personal loan

The nice thing about a personal loan is that you can lock in a fixed interest rate on your outstanding debt. And generally, the interest rate you pay on a personal loan is much lower than what the typical credit card charges.

Of course, with a personal loan, you won’t get a limited-time break from accruing interest like you might with a balance transfer. But you also don’t have to worry about the rate on your debt skyrocketing once that initial period comes to an end. If you sign a personal loan with a five-year repayment period at 7.5%, that’s the rate you’ll pay until your debt is gone (unless you refinance your loan, of course).

3. A home equity loan

If you own a home you have equity in, a home equity loan is another option for consolidating credit card debt into a fixed-rate loan and potentially lowering your monthly payments at the same time. You may even get a more favorable interest rate on a home equity loan than with a personal loan, since with the former, your loan itself is secured by a financial asset (your home).

However, you should know that if you fall behind on a home equity loan, you could eventually risk losing your home. And while falling behind on personal loan payments isn’t a great thing to do either, at least there, you’re not taking on that same risk.

If you’re spending way too much money on credit card debt payments each month, it may be time to seek out a better arrangement. Whether that’s a balance transfer, a personal loan, a home equity loan, or something else will depend on you and your financial situation. But it’s a good idea to explore different options, rather than resigning yourself to forking over hundreds of dollars a month to your credit card issuers with no clear end in sight.

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