How to tame leftover credit card bills for the holidays
TORONTO, April 13, 2021 / PRNewswire / – It’s easy to get a little crazy on the holidays, as potential travel, giveaways, and the spirit of giving can all lead to a credit card slip. But for the folks who keep chomping on those bills, maybe it’s time to sit down and come up with a plan to help pay off the remaining holiday debt and get back to a clean slate.
Budget and Maximize Payments
Budgeting is the most important part of any serious attempt to reduce debt.
For those who have never budgeted, take a close look at a month or two of previous spending. Break these expenses down into categories and compare them to income.
The next step in creating a budget is figuring out how much is left and how much can easily be spent on invoices each month. How aggressive each individual is towards saving is a personal choice, but the more people can switch from spending to paying off their debts, the faster they will be released from their debts.
Consolidate debt if possible
Debt consolidation is a process that helps people manage debt by restructuring it with a lower interest rate. It’s a particularly good choice for borrowers with excellent credit scores, but it can help anyone save money on interest. The two easiest routes to credit card debt consolidation are with a personal loan consolidation or by finding a balance transfer credit card.
Balance Transfer Credit Cards
Balance transfer cards are cards that allow a person to transfer debt from an existing card to a new card and then give them a low interest introductory window. This can be extremely helpful when paying off debt, as it gives a window of time to work on the debt without it continuing to grow.
When looking for a balance transfer credit card, it’s also important to keep an eye out for balance transfer fees – a high fee can negate a low interest rate. Moreover, borrowers can choose a good comprehensive credit card with additional benefits such as credit cards with no transaction fees abroad or cash back on purchases, so they can continue to use it after their debt is paid off.
Consolidation loans are personal loans that refinance existing debt. The loan issuer pays off the borrower’s credit card bills, either directly or through the cardholder, and then repays the loan rather than the card.
Personal loans generally have much lower interest rates than credit cards, and they set up a repayment plan that can fit within a budget. Shorter loan terms will mean less overall interest paid, although longer loan terms may provide more flexibility on monthly payments.
The downside to debt consolidation is the expense potential. A balance transfer and consolidation loan will free up the original credit cards to accumulate new debt. While it is difficult for a cardholder to keep their hands free while working on their bills, they may want to hide or cut their credit card at this time.