Credit cards can be a great financial help in a time of crisis, but those who borrow more than they are able to actually pay back can end up falling into a debt trap that is very difficult to get out of.
Credit card debt can be a vicious cycle as the interest on existing debts just keeps on multiplying over time.
However, the good news is that there are ways that people in the United Arab Emirates can get out of their credit card debt.
The first thing that anyone who is in debt because of their credit cards needs to do is find precisely how much of their debt is payable.
People in the UAE who make use of a number of different credit cards will have that debt split across those cards.
The smart thing to do is to write a list that contains all existing credit card debts and loans together with interest payable, and then work out what the outstanding amount comes to.
Being aware of the scale of the problem is crucial before you can begin to find a solution to it.
The next step is to work out how you can begin to pay off your credit card debt.
Accumulate the different income sources you have and work out your ‘debt burden ratio’.
This is a simple way of working out how much of your monthly income is being spent paying your debts.
UAE Central Bank guidelines state that the debt burden ratio needs to remain within 50%.
The great majority of banks in the UAE will negotiate with their customers in order to help them get out of financial difficulties, so go to your bank and negotiate for new debt structuring arrangements.
Banks will often revise payment plans and may even sometimes be willing to waive late payment penalties to help customers get out of debt.
All debts should be arranged by their interest rates in descending order.
The debt with the highest interest rate is the one that you should aim to pay off first.
People who have multiple credit cards in the UAE should pay the minimum payment requirements on their other cards and spend the majority of their money paying off the card with the highest rate of interest.
By paying off debt in this way, you will be able to avoid paying that high interest and therefore save more money.
The money that has been saved can then be used to pay off the rest of your debts at a quicker pace.
Preparing a good monthly budget is also important.
The clearing of credit card debt should be the priority for your monthly income, and money can also be saved by practicing new habits such as eating at home, using public transport, and possibly even moving to cheaper accommodation.
Income should be spent on necessities only and luxuries reduced if not cut out altogether until you are out of credit card debt.