Ways to Settle Your Credit Card Debt After the Holidays


WINK

Often times, getting gifts for loved ones during the holidays comes with unwanted credit card debt for you. WINK News Consumer Report Andryanna Sheppard shows you some ways to get this debt under control.

Sweeping, a little here, a little there, everything to be sure to have these gifts under the tree.

Addie Diaz said she used her credit card to pay for a few freebies, but plans to pay off that entire balance on the next statement. “That’s the goal,” Diaz said.

But not everyone can achieve this goal. For many, their credit card debt has snowballed to the point of overwhelming.

Sara Rathner is a credit card expert for NerdWallet. Rathner realizes how difficult credit card debt can be. But she thinks the first step is to make a plan to pay off your card.

Rathner says to take out each of your statements, see where you are financially, and then make a list of your debts. “You could have debts spread over multiple cards. You might have fees for subscriptions and things you don’t use anymore, but you still pay them because you forgot to cancel, ”Rathner said.

“It’s a good idea to, at least, figure out how much you owe on each credit card, what your interest rate is, how much you are paying per month now,” she said.

The next thing Rathner recommends is to cut unnecessary spending from your budget. This way you will be able to determine how much extra money you can pay on your cards per month.

“It’s a great time to cut back. Keep your finances really simple, see where you can reduce and stop increasing the debt pile, ”Rathner said.

And if you have debt spread across multiple cards, try the debt snowball method. This is where you work to pay off the card with the least amount of debt first while making the minimum payments on your other cards. Rathner thinks it can make you feel more accomplished and set you up for the rest of your debt.

“Every month you reduce that debt, it’s smaller debt to reduce, which means smaller monthly payments, shorter overall debt term. It’s a very good thing, ”Rathner said.

Another thing to consider is getting a new credit card with 0% APR on transfer balances. Even if you can’t transfer the full amount from one credit card to another, you can still eliminate some interest.

You can do this while saving money. But you’ll only save that money if you don’t spend anything on the new credit card.

Rathner said, “Don’t keep piling on your existing credit cards or buying new ones because you’re only making the problems you’re going through worse.”

These are just a few small steps you can take to get that big credit card payment.

You can also call your credit card company and ask for your interest rate to drop. This way your payments will be easier to manage. They may also provide you with other offers to help you manage your credit card debt.

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