57% of Americans Avoid Discussing Their Finances
According to a new study from eMoney Advisor, 57% of Americans “purposefully avoid” discussing their finances. When asked which topics were off limits, 34% said they did not talk about their bank account balance, followed by salaries (22%) and credit card debt (18%).
Discussing your debts may put you in a vulnerable position, but ultimately, it works in your favor.
Why Debt Should Be an Open Conversation
When you open up about credit card debt, you get an opportunity to learn from other people. Americans have over $1 trillion in outstanding credit card debt, which means you’re not alone in your struggles. By discussing your debts with others, you can learn new ways to improve your credit and potential mistakes to avoid.
Financial discussions are particularly important for long-term relationships. A study from The Harris Poll showed that only 51% of engaged couples talk about money before getting married. Forty-one percent of marriages start with consumer debt, which mostly consists of credit cards. Moreover, money is the most common source of tension for married couples and the second leading cause of divorce. Being open about finances can mitigate the risk of marital problems.
Tips for Getting out of Credit Card Debt
You’ve thought about it. You’ve talked about it. Now you’re motivated to get out of credit card debt. Here are some tips to guide you:
- Establish a budget that you can feasibly afford. Cut back on unnecessary expenses to free up more money for debt repayment.
- Pay off the card with the highest interest rate first. This will save you the most money in the long run.
- Make micropayments to chip away at your debt over time.
- Keep your cards open after paying them off. This will help your credit utilization rate and your length of credit history, which are key credit score factors.
- Ask for a lower interest rate. Your card issuers are not required to give you one, but 81% of cardholders who asked received a lower interest rate last year.