How to pay off $15,000 in credit card debt (2024)

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MoneyWatch: Managing Your Money

How to pay off $15,000 in credit card debt (2)

Credit card debt is nothing new in the United States. Balances across the country are growing at a brisk pace, totalling $1.03 trillion according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Then again, once you have your fair share, you'll likely wish you were never introduced to these all too easy to slide pieces of plastic.

You've decided you're done. You're ready to say goodbye to credit card debt for good.

That's great news, but there's one problem. High interest rates make it difficult to pay these revolving debts off. As such, minimum payments seem like nothing more than a forever debt trap. So, what do you do if you have five digits in credit card debt and need to get rid of it fast?

Get out of debt fast with a debt relief program today.

4 ways to pay off $15,000 in credit card debt fast

Sure, $15,000 in credit card debt can be intimidating, but it's not the end of the world. The fact is that with the right plan and a bit of discipline, your debt can be behind you before you know it. Here are four ways you can pay off $15,000 in credit card debt quickly.

Take advantage of debt relief programs

If you're having a hard time making your monthly minimum payments and your debts seem to be at a standstill, it's likely time to reach out to a debt relief program. Debt relief companies are skilled at ensuring that you pay the lowest interest rate possible and build payment plans that fit well within your budget. When you sign up, you'll generally take part in one of three programs:

  • Debt consolidation loan: Debt consolidation loans are personal loans issued for the purpose of paying off high-interest debt. They not only reduce your overall interest, they offer a fixed payment plan and clear path to payoff.
  • Debt consolidation program: With debt consolidation programs, professionals negotiate your interest rates on your behalf. You'll make a single payment to the program and they disburse that payment to your creditors.
  • Debt settlement program: Debt settlement involves negotiating your principal balance on your credit cards. This alleviates the pain associated with interest rates and greatly reduces the amount of money you owe.

Get the debt relief you deserve now.

Use a home equity loan to cut the cost of interest

"Similar to a debt consolidation loan," says Shane Cummings, CFP, CEPA, AIF, Wealth Advisor and the Director of Technology/Cybersecurity at Halbert Hargrove, home equity loans allow you to "borrow at a lower interest rate to pay off higher interest rate loans."

This is a compelling option for dealing with high-interest credit card debt.

"For example, you have credit card debt at 20% that is incurring interest faster than it can be paid off and you can borrow against home equity at a lower rate," says Shane, "that would provide an opportunity for you to incur less in interest charges and pay that debt down faster."

Use a 401k loan

Your 401k may be your key to debt relief as well. That is, as long as you've built up enough value in it. In most cases, you can borrow up to the lesser of 50% of your 401k's value or $50,000, which you could then use to pay off your credit card debt.

"The interest rate on the 401k loan would typically be significantly lower than credit card interest rates," says Brian Martin, Wealth Manager at Merit Financial Advisors. "Plus, you would have a built-in payoff plan through your payroll and be paying yourself back with interest."

So, not only can a 401k loan help you consolidate your debts and reduce your payments, it could be beneficial for your retirement in the long run.

Take advantage of balance transfer credit cards with promotional interest rates

"Consider consolidating multiple credit card debts into one that has the lowest interest expense," explains Martin. You could also transfer balances to "a new credit card if a better short-term interest rate is available."

He went on to explain that "credit card interest expenses can be a huge detriment to how far your monthly dollars can go." So, it's best to "try to minimize this expense where you can."

Balance transfer credit cards are often an effective way to do that. Many of them come with low or no interest for a year or longer. Though, once the promotional period expires, you will be charged the standard interest rate for the card on any remaining debt. So, it's best to pay the debt off during the promotional period.

If you're unable to do so, be sure you know what the standard rate for the card is and have a plan for addressing your debts once the promotional period expires.

The bottom line

$15,000 can be an intimidating total when you see it on credit card statements, but you don't have to be in debt forever. If you're struggling to make your minimum payments every month and you don't see light at the end of the tunnel, sign up for a debt management program to get out of debt fast.

Joshua Rodriguez

Joshua Rodriguez is a personal finance and investing writer with a passion for his craft. When he's not working, he enjoys time with his wife, two kids, two dogs and two ducks.

How to pay off $15,000 in credit card debt (2024)


How long will it take to pay off a 15000 credit card? ›

It will take 32 months to pay off $15,000 with payments of $600 per month, assuming the average credit card APR of around 18%. The time it takes to repay a balance depends on how often you make payments, how big your payments are and what the interest rate charged by the lender is.

How to pay off a 15k credit card? ›

Here are four ways you can pay off $15,000 in credit card debt quickly.
  1. Take advantage of debt relief programs.
  2. Use a home equity loan to cut the cost of interest.
  3. Use a 401k loan.
  4. Take advantage of balance transfer credit cards with promotional interest rates.
Nov 1, 2023

Is $15000 in credit card debt a lot? ›

It's not at all uncommon for households to be swimming in more that twice as much credit card debt. But just because a $15,000 balance isn't rare doesn't mean it's a good thing. Credit card debt is seriously expensive. Most credit cards charge between 15% and 29% interest, so paying down that debt should be a priority.

What is the 15 3 credit card payment rule? ›

You make one payment 15 days before your statement is due and another payment three days before the due date. By doing this, you can lower your overall credit utilization ratio, which can raise your credit score. Keeping a good credit score is important if you want to apply for new credit cards.

How fast can you pay off $15,000? ›

A minimum payment of 3% a month on $15,000 worth of debt means 227 months (almost 19 years) of payments, starting at $450 a month. By the time you've paid off the $15,000, you'll also have paid almost as much in interest ($12,978 if you're paying the average interest rate of 14.96%) as you did in principal.

How to pay off a 15k loan fast? ›

5 Ways To Pay Off A Loan Early
  1. Make bi-weekly payments. Instead of making monthly payments toward your loan, submit half-payments every two weeks. ...
  2. Round up your monthly payments. ...
  3. Make one extra payment each year. ...
  4. Refinance. ...
  5. Boost your income and put all extra money toward the loan.

Is 15000 a high credit card limit? ›

Yes, $15,000 is a high credit card limit. Generally, a high credit card limit is considered to be $5,000 or more, and you will likely need good or excellent credit, along with a solid income, to get a limit of $15,000 or higher.

What is the fastest way to pay off credit card debt? ›

Strategies to help pay off credit card debt fast
  1. Review and revise your budget. ...
  2. Make more than the minimum payment each month. ...
  3. Target one debt at a time. ...
  4. Consolidate credit card debt. ...
  5. Contact your credit card provider.

What is the average credit card debt in the US? ›

How much credit card debt the average American has (and how to pay it off) The average American household now owes $7,951 in credit card debt, according to the most recent data available from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the U.S. Census Bureau. But that's just the average.

What is considered really bad credit card debt? ›

If your total balance is more than 30% of the total credit limit, you may be in too much debt. Some experts consider it best to keep credit utilization between 1% and 10%, while anything between 11% and 30% is typically considered good.

What is considered a high credit card debt? ›

There are a couple ways credit card debt can damage your credit score: High balances: A major factor in your credit score is your credit utilization ratio (your credit card balances divided by their credit limits). Once this number gets above about 30%, it's bad for your credit.

What is considered a high credit debt? ›

Anything over 30% credit utilization will decrease your credit score. So, you can use this as a measure of when you have too much debt. Consolidated Credit offers a free credit card debt worksheet that makes it easy to total up your current balances and total credit limit.

What is the credit card payment trick? ›

The 15/3 credit hack gets its name from the practice of making your monthly payment in two installments: the first half 15 days before your due date and the second half three days before your due date. This hack, popular on various social media platforms, claims to be a shortcut to good credit.

What is the credit card double payment trick? ›

The 15/3 hack claims you can help your credit score dramatically by making half your credit card payment 15 days before your account statement due date and the other half-payment three days before.

Does making two payments a month help credit score? ›

That said, making two payments per month actually can help your score—but for a different reason. This strategy makes your credit utilization ratio appear lower, which can boost your credit score in the long run.

How long does it take to pay off 10k credit card debt? ›

1% of the balance plus interest: It would take 29.5 years or 354 months to pay off $10,000 in credit card debt making only minimum payments. You would pay a total of $19,332.21 in interest over that period.

How fast can I pay off 10k in credit card debt? ›

If you want to pay off debt more quickly, you'll need to make extra credit card payments and pay above the minimum. Let's say you had that same $10,000 credit card debt at 18% interest mentioned above, and you made a $350 payment every month until it was paid off. In that case, you'd be free of your debt in 38 months.

What is the minimum payment on a $10,000 credit card? ›

If you only make minimum payments, a $10,000 credit card balance will cost you $16,056.59 in interest and take 346 months to pay off. Minimum payments on a $10,000 balance would start at $267 and decrease as you paid down what you owe.


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