It’s easy to go overboard for Christmas. Giving extravagant gifts to your family members seems like a great idea…until you’re facing a huge credit card bill in January.
However it happened, approach this problem rationally. Blaming yourself is pointless; the important thing now is to right yourself financially.
Fortunately, you’re not facing this alone. We’re here to help. Check out these four ways you can patch up your finances and have things right before summer.
1.) Budgeting advice
It’s very tempting to make only the minimum payments on the credit card you used to buy Christmas. Unfortunately, it’s also the best way to ensure you’re in debt for every Christmas to come.
Making minimum payments on credit cards prolongs the length of time you’re in debt and spikes the total amount you pay, adding an extra $175 to a $10,000 balance at 21% APR.
What you need is an aggressive debt repayment plan. Instead of looking to pay the smallest amount possible, identify the most you can afford to pay.
Commit to an extreme budget until you make headway on the debt. Coming up with an extra $35 or $50 a month is tough, but it’s the easiest way to get things moving.
2.) Refinancing major purchases
If you splurged on one or two major purchases, it may not be credit card debt you’re facing. Slick car dealers offer crazy-sounding incentives to entice people to give cars for Christmas. Unfortunately, when you realize you’re in over your head with a car payment, there’s no undoing the deal.
We can help. Our auto loans often feature rates that are better than dealerships. You could also finance the purchase over a longer term, or you may need to restructure the loan to pay less now. Either way, you’ll find more favorable and flexible terms at with us than you will at the dealer.
3.) Debt counseling
Does reading those credit card statements fill you with despair?
Make an appointment to speak with a financial planner or just one of our loan representatives. You’ll learn about your rights and responsibilities and create a realistic plan to pay off your debt and avoid falling into the same trap next year.
4.) Personal loans
Instead of making dozens of minimum payments, focus your debt into one manageable plan through a debt consolidation. Amazingly, taking this step can save you money in the long run by lowering your interest rate and monthly payment commitment.
Our loan specialists can help you organize and simplify your payments, working toward a debt-free life.
Your Turn: Feeling buyer’s remorse after a big holiday spending spree? Let us know about it in the comments. If you’ve got a system to stay on budget, help your fellow members and share your wisdom!