Dave Says… Before or After?

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Dear Dave,

When it comes to paying off credit cards and getting out of debt, I’ve heard you talk about cutting up the cards and closing the accounts. Should I pay off the balances before or after I close the accounts?

Adrian

Dear Adrian,

I like the idea of cutting up the cards and closing the accounts first. Sometimes credit card companies will respond to this by jacking up the interest rates, or doing other shady things, but the point is to get them out of your life as quickly as possible and stop using the stupid things. Personal finance is 80 percent behavior. Ridding yourself of credit cards, and getting credit card debt out of your life for good, is a great first step in learning to behave with your money. You don’t build wealth or save money by using credit cards, no matter what anyone says. If you’re naïve enough to think you’re going to play around with a multi-billion-dollar industry and beat them at their own game, you’re sadly mistaken.

The only way to win against credit card companies is by refusing to play their game!

— Dave

*Dave Ramsey is a seven-time #1 national best-selling author, personal finance expert, and host of The Ramsey Show, heard by more than 18 million listeners each week. He has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Today Show, Fox News, CNN, Fox Business, and many more. Since 1992, Dave has helped people regain control of their money, build wealth and enhance their lives. He also serves as CEO for Ramsey Solutions.