Holiday seasons are joyous occasions wherein you tend to go a little overboard with your expenditure. Be it on purchases of gifts for your loved ones, buying new appliances for your home or taking a vacation with your family. Once the holiday fever subsides, the pressure of having overspent starts seeping in by means of unpaid credit card bills.
If you find yourself in a similar predicament, fret not, for here are some tips on how you can pay off your holiday credit card bills quickly, and get off to a good start with the new year:
Get an Estimate of Your Debt
To help you get a clear understanding of how much you owe, you would first need to go through your credit card statements. You can access your card statement by using your credit card login that lets you view all information related to your card.
Know Your Budget
Take a look at your budget and figure out how much you spend every month and where you can make adjustments to pay your credit card debts off.
Plan Your Expenses
Going through your budget will help you get a better perspective of how much amount you can spare towards the repayment of your debts once you have deducted what’s needed to cover your essential monthly expenses. Dedicate this portion of your income towards paying your debts off at the earliest.
Choose an Apt Payoff Strategy
The two most common strategies in practise are the snowball and avalanche approach.
The snowball approach requires you to pay off credit card debts that have the lowest balances first. Doing so can help you get a sense of progress and help you gather momentum to pay off your debts faster.
The avalanche approach requires you to pay off the debt on the credit card with the highest interest rate. This includes making the minimum payments on all outstanding credit cards and using any residual funds to pay off the credit card debt that has the highest interest rate.
You can adopt one of these strategies to pay your debts off.
Make Payments in Advance
Instead of waiting till the last minute, you can slowly start saving up funds and pay your debts off as and when possible. The credit card login will help you get a clear idea of when your credit card bill is due.This will not only keep you from inadvertently spending your money but also help you decrease the amount of interest that you will pay in the future. Additionally, early payments will help you maintain a clean record and boost your credit score as well.
Pay More Than the Minimum Amount Due
Although this might seem far-fetched, paying more than the minimum amount due, will help you clear your debts faster and rid you of the unnecessary stress.
Opt for Credit Cards with Lower Interest Rates
While you apply for credit cards, it is always wiser to opt for cards that have a lower interest rate. Lower interest rates will help you save money as well as time when you pay your debts off. You can also contact your credit card provider and request for reduction in the rates on account of being a consistent customer.
Avoid Overdependence on Your Credit Card
Do not overly depend on your credit card. Steer clear of using your card to make payments at least while you are trying to pay your debts off. Use cash to get a better understanding of how your money is being spent.
Find Ways to Increase Your Income
You can sell things that you no longer require, to gain some additional income that can help you pay your credit card debts off. You can also pick up a part-time job to earn extra money for the repayment of debts.
Avoid Needless Expenses
Find expenses that you can do without, such as added subscription services, and put them off until you clear your debts. If there are expenses that cannot be eliminated, then try and reduce them as much as possible.
Consolidate Your Debt
You can pay your debts off by initiating a balance transfer to a credit card that has a low or zero interest rate. You will have to apply for credit cards that have a zero-percent introductory interest period which will allow you to pay your card’s balance without any additional interest on it.
If you already have a huge credit card debt and do not wish to have another credit card, an alternative to the balance transfer card is to apply for a personal loan. Loans help you get a fixed amount of money for a fixed duration of time at a decided interest rate. Moreover, interest rates on loans are comparatively lower than on credit cards.
Take Advantage of Credit Card Rewards
If you own credit cards that have cashback offers or earn reward points on purchases, you can put them to use and pay off your holiday debts. Some credit card companies also let you redeem your rewards points for statement credit to lower the debt amount you owe.
Give Heed to Your Tax Withholdings
If you have filed your taxes and are expecting a refund in the coming year, that amount could be reserved towards debt repayment. You are advised to adjust your tax withholdings to make more surplus on your income throughout the year which will help you have enough funds to dedicate towards clearing your debts.
Plan for the Next Holiday Season in Advance
Plan your budget for the next holiday season well in advance and start saving up early to avoid any unexpected expenses.
Ending up with a credit card debt post holiday season, can put a damper on your fresh start to the new year. Hence, it is imperative to be mindful of your expenses during holidays and plan your finances carefully, to refrain from overspending.
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