On Your Side: Tackle holiday debt

Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 6:41 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Now those credit card statements from holiday shopping are arriving in mailboxes. If you bought too much over Christmas last month, On Your Side can help.

First, assess the damage. Figure out what you really owe and when it’s due. Do not ignore it.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to tackling debt. Pay your highest interest card first. Or pay off your lowest balance card first. In the long run, you’ll save the most by getting rid of that high interest, but paying off a pesky card, might be the boost you need. You decide.

“Pay the minimum if you can. If you can’t do that, call the credit card company on your own,” said Shawn Gallagher with Piatchek & Associates.

Ask if you can change your payment amount and or due date. If you have a good payment history, one phone call can make a big difference. Be nice and honest. Lenders want to make a plan.

If you have a significant amount of debt, consider rolling it into one credit card or personal loan with a no-balance transfer fee. Some lenders offer no interest fees for the first six months to one year.

Review what you spent. Many, forget to calculate travel and pet boarding expenses.

Set goals for next season. Maybe start saving $10 each month for a holiday budget.

If holiday debt is an ongoing problem, consider working with a credit counselor.

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