Online shopping is expected to hit $143.7 billion this holiday season, and the bulk of these transactions is via credit cards. Despite their high-interest rates, cardholders continue to use credit cards as their preferred payment method. Over 60% of these cardholders are willing to get into more credit card debt during the holiday season.
The festivities of the holiday season always come at a cost, and credit cards bear much of the cost. In 2017, the average credit card debt during the holiday season increased by 5% to $1,054. This could take up to 6 years to pay, especially if the cardholder is making minimum payments.
How do you manage this debt?
List all your bills and monthly expenses. Compare your monthly expenditure to your income, and make changes accordingly. Start with your fixed expenses, and proceed toward the variables. This is where you can make a few changes. You will have to make sacrifices, but it will help break the debt cycle.
Make changes to your shopping behavior and cut down on any unnecessary purchases. Eat homemade food, drink homemade coffee, and carry food to work. Channel the savings from these adjustments towards your credit card debt.
Set Payment Goals
You can try to ignore your debts, but they won’t disappear; in fact, they will increase. Instead of wallowing in debt, set a goal or a few milestones. For example, you can set a milestone that you want to clear the debt in 12 months.
To achieve this milestone, start by increasing your monthly payments. Ensure that the payments are consistent, and don’t take on more debt.
Sell Extra Stuff in Your Home
There are things in your home that you don’t need. You might have a bike sitting in your garage that you don’t use. If it’s not helping you, why not sell it and make extra cash? You might have accessories, shoes, or vintage items that could fetch a good price.
If you received gift cards, you could sell them and pay off your loans.
Negotiate Lower Interest Rates
You don’t have to struggle with your debt when you can approach the credit card company and renegotiate terms. You might get lucky and get lower interest rates.
Cease Using Your Credit Cards
Since you’ve accumulated debt, try to pay off what you owe before using your card again. Put the credit card away, and forget about it until. Start spending only what you have until your debt is fully paid.
As a Business Banking Professional, Kim helps businesses providing commercial loans specifically meant to provide a business with the capital needed to start-up or expand. In her role, she interacts with entrepreneurs and business owners concerning future financial investments in an effort to help the business find the strategies that would work for them.
Vice President • 770-515-7028 • [email protected]