Don't let that credit card bill with all your holiday purchases get you down. Making a solid plan now will help pay it off sooner than you think.
For many, an unfortunate by-product of the holiday season is that sobering moment in mid-January when you open the credit card statement. It oftentimes reflects generous spending in December. Now, the question is: what’s the best way to get that debt paid off and out of the way?
Here are five tips on paying-off that credit card debt before months’ worth of finance charges take their toll.
- Set a Goal and a Plan
Planning and setting a goal are good first steps for nearly any process. Making a plan you can follow keeps you accountable as you work your way through and gives extra motivation in settling your debt.
- Pay More Than the Minimum Due
Regardless of your balance, your minimum due will likely be a very small amount. This can keep you out of trouble, but you’ll pay a fortune in finance charges by time it’s all said and done – and that’s assuming you don’t use the card at all while you pay off the balance. This is why you should pay as much down as possible each month.
- Use a Holiday Bonus or Tax Return as Payment
It can be tempting to spend a bonus or tax return on material things but think about using it to pay-off things that you already purchased. These lump sums can be used to wipe away (or take a large chunk out of) a big debt.
- Double-check Your Statements
It’s bad enough to have to pay down your large credit card debt but pour over your statements to make sure that everything checks out and you weren’t a victim of identity or credit card theft.
- Look Into New Cards
Many credit cards offer zero-percent interest introductory periods (many times for a year or 18 months). You may pay a fee to transfer your balance from another card, but this way, you’ll have more time to pay off your debt without having to worry about incurring finance charges.