Help! I Overspent on Christmas
1.) Budgeting advice
It’s very tempting to make only the minimum payments on the credit card you used to buy Christmas presents. Unfortunately, it’s also the best way to ensure you’re in debt for every Christmas to come. Making minimum payments on credit cards prolongs the length of time you’re in debt and spikes the total amount you pay, adding an extra $175 to a $10,000 balance at 21% APR.
What you need is an aggressive debt repayment plan. Instead of looking to pay the smallest amount possible, identify the most you can afford to pay. Commit to an extreme budget until you make headway on the debt. Coming up with an extra $35 or $50 a month is tough, but it’s the easiest way to get things moving.
2.) Refinancing major purchases
If you splurged on one or two major purchases, it may not be credit card debt you’re facing. Slick car dealers offer crazy-sounding incentives to entice people to give cars for Christmas. Unfortunately, when you realize you’re in over your head with a car payment, there’s no undoing the deal.
Community Financial can help. Our auto and other major purchase loans often feature better rates. You may need to finance the purchase over a longer term or restructure the loan to pay less now. Either way, it could pay to research refinancing with us. Learn more about our auto loans by visiting cfcu.org/auto.
3.) Debt counseling
Does reading those credit card statements each month fill you with despair? Community Financial can help you make sense of them. Make an appointment to speak with one of our friendly representatives about debt management. You’ll learn about your rights and responsibilities and create a realistic plan to pay off your debt to avoid falling into the same trap next year.
4.) Personal loans
Focus your debt into one manageable plan through a debt consolidation loan. The advantage to these loans is they’ll have lower interest rates than the original debt, and allow the borrower to make only one lower payment per month instead of several. Our loan specialists can help you organize and simplify your payments, working toward a debt-free life. Visit cfcu.org/personal for more info.
If you need help managing your debt this new year, give us a call at (877) 937-2328 and let us help you get back on track.
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