As we enter the holiday season, some individuals will have to start to think about the reality of paying their credit card bills. While it is great to give gifts to love ones and friends, going into credit card debt is a responsibility that should be taken seriously due to the fact that it will impact your ability to use credit (in various forms) in the future.
Knowing that you will have a challenge paying off your credit card bills should lead you to be prepared with a plan. The plan should be composed of various strategies that will assist you in overcoming the issue of paying for gifts with credit. Here are six practical strategies that you may want to consider using in the near future.
1. Stop using the card; pay cash
Once your shopping is completed, your credit card should not be used until debts are partially or completely paid. By continuing to use the card for impulse purchases, you are making matters even more difficult when the bill arrives. To avoid this situation, put the credit card away in a safe place and use cash for your purchases. This may entail making some tough decisions when it comes to spending your pocket money in the upcoming months.
2. Pay more than the minimum
Although credit card companies offer their clients an easy way out by just asking for a monthly minimum payment, it is not a wise approach to use. By just paying the minimum, you not really dealing with the lump sum that will eventually have to be paid. In addition, interest will be charged on the outstanding balance going forward. As a result, you have to make every attempt to pay more than the minimum when the bills are sent.
3. Pay on time
One of the most common mistakes that are made in terms of dealing with post-holiday credit card debt is not paying bills on time. Avoid due dates will not make payments easier to do on a monthly basis. In fact, delaying payments will make life more difficult in the future since your credit history will document your inability to pay creditors promptly.
4. Consider using your savings
Depending on the amount of credit card debt that you have incurred during the holiday, you may want to consider using your savings to pay your bills. Although savings are usually kept for future use, avoiding interest payments should be your main and present financial goal and preoccupation. The money sitting in an account (earning little interest of less than 1%) can be more useful to you by paying down your credit card debt versus incurring interest charges of 19% or more on outstanding balances. For this strategy to work for you, you have to be dedicated to putting back the money in the savings account within a matter of weeks or months depending on the amount of the payment.
5. Negotiate a lower interest rate
In a perfect world, we would like to use credit cards that low interest rates associated with them. Fortunately for some, negotiating a lower interest rate is possible if the right approach is taken. It is important to remember that the amount of money that you owe must be manageable for the credit card company to begin considering reducing the rate. Individuals with constant charges and difficulties to pay bills may not have the ability to negotiate.
6. Ask for help from a family member
If you feel overwhelmed with pending credit card bills, consider asking a family member for financial assistance. The financial assistance may not entail paying the entire bill, however; it should aid in decreasing the amount of the outstanding balance. In return for the assistance, you can repay the family member at a later day without any interest or be available to help them out when they need it.
At the begin of every new year, some individuals are faced with huge credit card bills. Having a proper plan with strategies can aid you in managing paying the bills quicker that you could imagine.