If You Have More Than 3 Credit Cards, Make These 3 Moves

A woman throws credit cards in the air while lying down in the grass.
Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder
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We know how easy it is to rack up credit card debt. Over 41% of Americanhouseholds carry a credit card balance, and the average balance for those households is $9,333, according to a study from financial data website ValuePenguin.

But here’s the thing about credit cards: once you have a few of them, it’s time to change up your strategy.

If you’ve got more than three credit cards, here are some money moves you should make right away:

1. Let This Company Pay Off Your Credit Cards

No, like… the whole bill. All of it. All that debt racked up from the 300 destination weddings your friends made you attend (thanks!) could be paid by the end of this month.

Your credit card company is ripping you off with insane rates, and it’s getting rich off of you. But there are other, nicer companies that’ll help you out. A website called Fiona knows the best ones and could pair you up as soon as tomorrow.

Here’s how it works: Fiona will match you with a loan that’ll cover your credit card tab. Use that loan to pay off your debt, then make monthly payments to repay the loan. It could lower your monthly payments and help you pay off that debt a lot faster. Plus, no credit card payment this month.

Fiona won’t make you stand in line or call a bank. And if you’re worried you won’t qualify, it’s free to check online. It takes just two minutes, and it could save you thousands of dollars. Totally worth it.

Now you can finally stop holding a grudge against that friend who thought a Mexico wedding was a good idea.

2. Improve Your Credit Score by 277 Points

Your credit score is important. The better your score, the better deal you’ll get on a mortgage, car loan or credit card. We’re talking big money here.

Even if you’re not buying a house anytime soon, a lousy credit score means you’ll get hit with a high security deposit whenever you rent a car or move into a new apartment.

To keep a closer eye on your credit, get your credit score and a “credit report card” for free from Credit Sesame. It breaks down exactly what’s on your credit report in layman’s terms, how it affects your score and how to address it.

James Cooper, of Atlanta, used Credit Sesame to raise his credit score 277 points in six months.

“They showed me the ins and outs — how to dot the I’s and cross the T’s,” he says. “I applied for my first credit card ever.”

Getting your free credit score takes about 90 seconds. Before you know it, you’ll be an expert in credit scores.

Never thought you’d earn that title, huh?

3. Use Your House to Pay Off Your Debt

California couple Wilmer and Kimberly Swerdfeger had accumulated $20,000 in credit card debt — a result of unexpected home repairs and an emergency eye surgery.

Between paying high interest rates and juggling multiple bills, Wilmer needed a way out. That’s when he considered tapping into his home’s equity — the money he’d paid toward his mortgage — with Figure, an online lender.

Home equity lines of credit can you help you get out of debt faster by offering better rates than credit cards and personal loans, because your home backs the loan.

Figure approved the couple for a five-year line of credit with an APR of 5.75% — that was way better than the 21.99% credit card interest he faced. Oh, and his funds were in his account the next day — so he could immediately pay off his credit cards.

It only takes five minutes to check your rate with Figure. If you like what you see and your application is approved, Figure will initiate funding within five days.

Figure is available in the following states: AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KS, LA, MA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, WA, WI, WY. Terms and conditions apply. Visit figure.com for further information.