A credit card also gives you access to an interest-free loan if you can pay off the balance before the end of the month. However, if youâ??re unable to pay off your credit card balance each month, credit card debt can increase at a rapid pace.

One of the most expensive forms of debt

According to Wikus Olivier, debt counsellor at DebtSafe, credit card debt is one of the most expensive forms of debt. This is because interest rates are generally higher on credit card debt than other debt forms.

Therefore, consumers need to be extremely aware and guarded of how credit cards are utilised as this, if not controlled, can lead to serious financial implications.

So, if you want to pay off your credit card debt, whatâ??s the best way to go about it? Here are five top tips:

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1. Stop using your cards

The first step in paying off credit card debt is to completely stop using the credit card. â??The best way to stop using your credit card is to take a pair of scissors, cut the credit card in half and then throw it in the trash,â? says Olivier.

A credit card that is still usable WILL get used and all the payments made to reduce the balance can be nullified in seconds.

At the same time, cut back on luxuries and spend money only on essentials

When you do pay for them, use cash or your debit card â?? this will ensure that whatever you buy is within your means.

â??Remember, you can always re-apply for a credit card in the future, thus destroying the card that is out of control should be seen as a stepping stone,â? says Olivier. If you do not wish to destroy your credit card, consider putting it away where you will have to go to some effort to get it back. Put is in a safe or ask a trusted family member to keep it for you until the balance has been paid off.