Sequin Blog


How To Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt Fast | Four Proven Strategies

January 22, 2024

Headshot of Vrinda Gupta

Vrinda Gupta

Sequin CEO & Co-Founder | Women's Finance Expert | Visa Alum

Credit card debt has been rising in the US, and it's hitting many of us hard. You’re far from alone if you’ve been avoiding your credit card statements and the realities of compounding interest.

But when it comes to credit card debt—you’ve got to know where you stand to make change.

With average credit card interest rates sitting at over 24 percent, that debt can pile up fast.

Not to mention, it can give you a hate-hate mindset with your money.

We know that tackling debt can feel daunting. But there are strategies you can start implementing right now to give yourself a game plan to “debt-free,” and help you feel more empowered and in control of your money.

What's the key? Knowing your options and choosing the right plan for you. Let's jump into the four proven strategies to pay off credit card debt - fast.

*Sequin Tip: It’s crucial to pay off credit card debt before you start investing your cash. Why? On average, you're looking at earning around seven percent per year investing in the stock market. When you’re saddled with credit card balances and paying interest at a rate at over 24 percent, your debt is building faster than your money can grow for you by investing. *

Pick Your Method: Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt Faster

These are four of our favorite methods to pay off high-interest credit card debt. Other lower-interest debts like student loans, car loans, etc. can be paid off later if they are less than the 7% you could earn by investing. Focus on paying off that higher-interest credit card debt first to rock your financial game plan.

Strategy 1: Employing The Debt Snowball Method

This method is all about dealing with those smaller debts first. Picture a snowball rolling down a hill. It starts with the little debts and gains momentum as it takes on the bigger ones.

Why We Love This Method:

  • Simplicity. The Debt Snowball Method is an easy plan you can stick to without feeling mentally drained. Knocking out debts one by one means fewer monthly payments to manage—making your finances less complicated.

  • The confidence boost of quick wins. Every debt you pay off builds positive reinforcement. You're not just paying debts; you're changing how you handle your money by creating a habit that sticks.

Steps To Put In Place:

  • List Your Debts – Make a list of your credit card debts. Put them in order of the lowest to the highest balances.

  • Minimum Payments – Make sure to keep up with your minimum payments on your other cards while continuing to work on paying off your smallest debt first, so you aren’t charged penalties.

  • Extra Payments – If you come across any extra money (tax refund, unexpected bonus, etc.), put it towards the smallest debt.

  • Snowball Effect – Once that smallest debt is history, start paying down the next smallest. Like that snowball rolling down the hill, you’ll gain momentum. And your payoffs will get bigger with each debt you tackle.

  • Repeat Until Debt-Free!

The Debt Snowball Method may not always be the most cost-effective path when it comes to saving on interest. But it's a great habit builder for staying motivated to kick that debt to the curb.

Strategy 2: Implementing The Debt Avalanche Method

This method is all about taking down those debts with the highest interest rates first. It’s a great debt payoff method that saves you money in interest, because you’re paying down the highest interest rate.

Plus, it's got some major perks!

Why We Love This Method:

Saving money. By kicking off with those highest-interest debts, you cut the total dollar amount of interest you pay over time. More money in your pocket, more financial control in your hands.

Improved Credit Score. Paying off those high-interest debts might just work some magic on your credit score. A lower credit utilization ratio can mean a boost to your overall credit score!

Steps To Put In Place:

  • List Your Debts – Make a list of your credit card debts. Rank them in order of highest interest rate to the lowest interest rate.

  • Minimum Payments – Keep up with the minimum payments on your other cards while you continue to work on paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first.

  • Extra Payments – Any extra money, put it toward that high-interest rate debt.

  • Avalanche Effect – Once you've cleared the debt with the highest interest, shift your focus to the next one in line. Just like an avalanche that begins at the highest peak, you start with the highest-interest debt first and work your way down the mountain.

  • Repeat Until Debt-Free!

This method may not be the quickest for wiping out debt, but it's all about those long-term interest savings.

Strategy 3: Exploring Debt Consolidation Options

Feeling overwhelmed by multiple debts in different places? Debt consolidation puts everything in one spot, so you can see the whole picture and chip away at a single debt—instead of multiple.

Loans or balance transfer credit cards are powerful tools in combatting pesky credit card debt.

Why We Love This Method:

  • Simplified Interest. Debt consolidation rolls everything into one easy payment. Say goodbye to juggling lots of different payments.

  • Fixed or Lower rates. Depending on the type of debt consolidation, you might be able to take advantage of fixed or lower interest rates. This means saving money and keeping your payoff plan predictable.

Let's Talk Options:

Balance Transfer Credit Card

  • Hunt for a credit card with a low introductory APR on balance transfers. Move those high-interest balances to one card to catch a breather from compounding interest. Focus on wiping out that main debt.

  • Pro tip: Watch out for balance transfer fees (typically around three to five percent) and promotional rates that expire. But the interest savings usually still justifies the move!

  • ** A balance transfer card is best for consolidating high-interest debt that can be paid off in under two years.

Debt Consolidation Loan

  • A debt consolidation loan combines multiple debts into one. You borrow a sum of money and only make one monthly payment.

  • A structured plan and a fixed interest rate mean safeguards against unexpected surprises.

  • Like with any loan, know the terms and understand the details. This includes the monthly payment, interest rate, and how long it’ll take to pay it off.

When dealing with one loan (and one interest rate), paying off credit card debt becomes less complicated. This can give you much-needed relief to breathe easy while you pay down your debt.

When deciding which option is right for you, remember:

  • A balance transfer card is best for consolidating high-interest debt that can be paid off in under two years.

  • A debt consolidation loan is best for consolidating large amounts and multiple types of debt.

Strategy 4: Negotiating with Credit Card Companies

Flex those negotiation skills with your credit card company for lower interest rates.

(And if you're eyeing a balance transfer, don't be shy to ask about any promo offers. Sometimes, you can snag deals that aren't getting the spotlight.)

Why We Love This Method:

  • Lower Interest Rates. This means less cash flying out of your pocket, and more going straight to crushing that debt.

Steps To Put In Place:

  • Know Your Worth. Understanding your credit score, payment history, and loyalty to the company gives you leverage to negotiate a better rate.

  • Express Your Goal. Ask about getting those interest rates down. Keep it friendly—kindness goes a long way.

  • Mention Competitor Offers. Play smart and bring up better deals you've spotted from competitors. Let them know you're in the know.

  • Be Persistent. If the first rep can't help, don't give up. Ask to speak to a supervisor. Sometimes, that's where the magic happens.

While there are no guarantees, these tips can up your chances for a win.

Lowering interest rates can lead to a more effective debt repayment experience. Reducing interest costs can result in a faster payoff, which makes debt that much easier to manage.

A Few Things to Remember —

  • Keep up with the minimum payments on all your credit cards. No matter which strategy you go with, this is one of the most important parts. Monthly on-time payments not only boost your credit score but help you dodge those pesky late fees. Consistency is key here.

  • Have an emergency fund. Don’t go into more debt in the case of an emergency or an unexpected, big charge. Building your emergency fund is your first step to financial security. It's a non-negotiable.

  • Pick a plan and stick with it. Whether you want to start small with quick wins, go all-in for long-term savings, or secure lower rates—the key is staying consistent. Whatever strategy you pick, make sure it aligns with your lifestyle and goals.

  • Stay committed to your debt payoff plan. Keep track of your wins (big or small) and celebrate those victories, 'cause you deserve it.

Remember, this isn't just about paying off debt—it's about taking control of your financial life to help you reach your life goals faster. With these savvy strategies, you can slay your credit card debt and step into a more secure financial future.

The better news? You don’t have to do it solo.

Sequin's got your back. As a member, you get access to unique credit card debt payoff tools that create a debt payoff plan specific to you and your needs. You’ll also get accountability through workshops, courses, and community. Become a Sequin Member today to learn more!


Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date however since then some of the offers may have expired. Please see the bank's website for the most current credit card offers.