How To Pay Off Credit Card Debt & How To Pay Off Debt Fast

Many people struggle with how to pay off credit card debt as well as how to pay off debt fast, particularly if you can’t pay the outstanding debt load on time and in full. That is because as the balance amount gets bigger, the interest compounds and payments increase.

If you pay the balance in full each month, no interest will be charged. The debt is fully paid and there is nothing to worry about. On top of that, you get to improve your credit score, which strengthens your credit report, and which can make it easier for you to secure new credit in the future. However, the longer you wait to pay off the balance, interest will keep on compounding and the more you’ll owe in interest over time.


It’s important to be aware that interest rates on credit cards are really high, it can be as high as 22% or more, so even if you make at least the minimum monthly payment most of the debt will accrue because you’ll be paying a lot of interest and it will take you a long time to pay off your balance. The balance can easily and quickly spin out of control if you’re not careful and continue to spend and borrow and take on new debt. This can cause you to soon default on your credit card payments, and if you missed payments or make late payments, it could land you under a mountain of debt which can be extremely hard to get out of.

So, if you’re just making the minimum payment each month, it will take you a long time to pay off your balance — possibly decades. During that time, you’ll also pay a lot of interest.

High credit card debt is a serious problem in Canada. According to credit monitoring firm TransUnion, outstanding credit card balances have reached a record high of more than $100-billion in the second half of 2019. The average Canadian credit card holder owes about $4,240 in credit card debt in late 2019, that’s on top of other unsecured debts like lines of credit, payday loans and personal loans. This may increase by the end of 2020 and credit card delinquencies may rise by the end of next year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many who are struggling to pay their credit card bills in full and on time are looking for safe and effective solutions to eliminate them and gain a fresh financial start.

We at Richard Killen & Associates can help those who are having trouble with credit card debt to find solutions. As expert debt advisors, we will help you explore ways on how to pay off debt fast. We offer a free initial consultation to assess your situation and help you review your options for credit card relief.


Making at least the minimum monthly payments will hold good and help you avoid repercussions. For the most part, no late fee will be charged to you and the remaining balance is carried forward to the next month’s bill. If you fall behind and skip a billing cycle, that’s when you start getting into trouble. If you miss more payments and your account becomes delinquent, expect serious consequences to come into play.

If you have multiple credit card balances and it’s getting overwhelming to manage all of them, be proactive and try to find ways to quickly pay off credit cards and get better control of before you can even start missing a payment and have your account past due or delinquent.

DIY strategies

There are two popular ways to manage multiple credit card balances on your own.

  • The avalanche method
  • The snowball method

The snowball method lets you focus on paying off your smallest debt first by letting you pay more on it while making the minimum payment on your other liabilities. With the avalanche method, you do exactly the opposite and make more payments on your highest-interest-rate debt first until you pay it all down without neglecting the smaller liabilities. The avalanche method will save you money on interest payments, but many prefer the snowball method because it’s faster and seeing the debt being paid off faster somehow works as a great motivator to go on and keep paying down the other debts.

Long-term Solutions for Credit Card Debt

If you’ve been trying to pay off your credit cards on your own with little or no progress and you’re starting to, or will soon default on your payments, you may need more profound solutions to climb out of debt.

These warning signs will tell you that it’s time to commit to a long-term plan to pay off high-interest credit cards:

  • You are using your credit cards to pay for monthly necessities.
  • You cannot pay the full amount of your credit card bill monthly.
  • You are skipping payments or have missed payments for consecutive months.
  • You are getting calls from the credit card company.
  • Your wages are being garnished.
  • You are starting to lose sleep worrying about how you will pay your bills.

Credit counselling

Credit counselling will put you in a Debt Management Plan to repay one hundred percent of your outstanding credit card debt for up to five years. In addition, you will pay a fee to the credit counselling agency which will cost about fifteen percent on top of each monthly payment.

Consumer Proposal

In a consumer proposal, you enter into a formal, legal agreement with your creditors to repay a portion of your debt. A licensed insolvency trustee prepares the proposal and negotiates with your creditors to reduce the debt, and the creditors vote on whether or not to accept the proposal. In a typical consumer proposal, the amount paid back can be reduced by as much as fifty to seventy percent and monthly payments can be arranged for up to five years. Other variations are possible, depending on the consumer’s unique situation.

Filing for Bankruptcy

If you do not qualify for a consumer proposal, your only option may be to file for personal bankruptcy.

In a bankruptcy, you will be required to surrender all non-exempt assets to a Licensed Insolvency Trustee who will sell them and distribute the value to your creditors. You will also have to report your income every month to account for any surplus income you will need to pay in addition to your monthly payments. When the bankruptcy is successfully completed, all credit card debts and other debts included in the filing will be discharged.

A great benefit of both a consumer proposal and a bankruptcy is that they are legally binding and can provide creditor protection through the “Stay of Proceedings.” If you are being threatened with wage garnishments or legal action, a consumer proposal or bankruptcy might be the best solution for you.

Long-term repayment plans can be stressful, but it may be the best way to pay off debt and avoid a slew of consequences.


If your finances have been severely impacted by COVID-19 and you’re drowning in credit card debt, you need help to find debt relief options.

Over the course of 25 years, Richard Killen & Associates have worked with hundreds of Canadians seeking different ways on how to pay off debt fast and get better control of credit card debt. We understand that it’s one of the biggest sources of debt problems for many families in Ontario. We offer a free, confidential consultation to discuss your unique financial situation and we can help you find the best way to show you how to pay off credit card debt that will work for you.

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    Since 1992, Richard Killen & Associates, a Licensed Insolvency Trustee, have helped thousands of people resolve their financial problems. With 25 years experience in this industry, our president, Richard Killen, and the rest of our team understand the difficulties that honest people can sometimes find themselves in. This expertise makes it possible to provide you with a service that effectively deals with the issues.

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    "Serving the GTA for 25 years."