Has reality sunk in yet? The holiday debt many people are facing on their next credit card statement is looming. If you've over spent this holiday season, you are not alone.
As the Christmas trees come down and the decorations are put away, unfortunately the results of holiday debt are just beginning. The worst present you can give yourself is more debt.
No holiday toy, no impulse purchase is worth the 20 percent on your credit card. But, it's too late, so now what?
- Develop a budget. List your fixed expenses that vary and be realistic about just how much money you take in each month.
- Contact your creditors. If you can' make ends meet, don't ignore them. Work out a modified payment plan to reduce your payments.
- Prioritize. Cut back on things you don't need, like coffee runs to Starbucks, tons of snack foods for school lunches...take that money and put it towards paying off credit card debt.
- Don't fall behind. Be proactive.
- Contact a reputable credit counselor. Beware of those that promise to wipe away your debt for a fee.
- Stop using credit cards. Leave them at home and start paying with cash. Spend only what you have and not a penny more.
More information: Find out if a credit counseling agency is a member of a major association, such as the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (www.nfcc.org ) or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (www.aiccca.org )
Copyright WPRI 12
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