Posts Tagged: ‘holiday debt’

Here’s How Much Debt the Average Consumer Racked Up Over the Holidays

January 9, 2018 Posted by kingcade

A recent survey conducted by MagnifyMoney found consumers who took on debt this holiday season will start the New Year with an average of $1,003 in credit card debt.  Last-minute gifts, entertaining costs, and fewer hours at work, can all add up to additional credit card debt.

What is troubling about this year’s findings is that the majority of consumers who went into debt did not plan on it. The vast majority (65.2%) of consumers who took on the debt did so unexpectedly and did not budget for the added expense.

Nearly half (46%) predict they will need four months or more to pay off their holiday debt, or will only make the minimum monthly payments.

Even a seemingly modest amount of debt can quickly balloon over time if not paid in full timely. A person carrying an average debt load of $1,003 who makes one $25 minimum payment per month would need 58 months (4.8 years) to pay off their debt. That calculation assumes an average annual percentage rate (APR) of 16%.

Here are some ways to beat the holiday debt cycle:

Understand where your money went.  Track exactly where your money went the last three months.  There are useful apps that can help you understand where your money has gone. LevelMoney splits your expenditure into fixed, recurring expenses and variable expenses.

Carefully review your credit report. You can download your report for free at AnnualCreditReport.com for all three bureaus.

Use the debt snowball method.  A recent study found that consumers are more likely to stick to paying off debt when paying off credit cards with the smallest balances, first.  This strategy provides consumers with small “wins” against debt and builds momentum to keep you motivated.

Make 2018 your year to be debt free! By taking the right approach and building good financial habits, you can successfully pay down debt in the New Year.  Here are some ways to keep to your New Year’s Debt Resolutions. If holiday expenditures have put you over the limit financially, it might be time to examine your finances in closer detail and meet with a financial advisor or bankruptcy attorney.   Here are some signs you should file for bankruptcy.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

http://www.kgw.com/money/magnify-money/many-holiday-shoppers-will-start-the-new-year-with-1003-worth-of-debt/382430335

Can a Debt Collector Contact You During the Holidays?

December 14, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Getting a call from a debt collector can be a frustrating and stressful experience, and the last thing you want to deal with during what is supposed to be the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”  Even though it is legal for debt collectors to try and recoup a debt you owe, there are restrictions.

For example, debt collectors cannot contact you at times they know are inconvenient (i.e. – before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.)  They cannot contact you at your job if you ask them to stop, they cannot repeatedly contact you throughout the day, they cannot threaten you or lie to you about the debt, and they cannot discuss your debt with any third party.

All of these are in violation of The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).

But what about during holidays?  Although the FDCPA does not specifically state which days of the week debt collectors can and cannot call you and does not designate a holiday exemption, it does state that collectors cannot communicate with you during times which are known to be inconvenient.

So you could essentially argue that a call on Christmas Eve is, in fact, a violation of the FDCPA.  This would likely fall under, “calling at times known to be inconvenient.”

If you believe a debt collector is violating the law by calling you outside the allowed times or by calling more frequently than they should, after you have asked them to stop calling or have sent a cease and desist letter, you can report them to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and your state Attorney General.

At the law firm of Kingcade & Garcia we want you to have a safe and Happy Holiday this year!   If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

http://blog.credit.com/2016/12/can-a-debt-collector-call-me-during-the-holidays-163536/

https://www.thebalance.com/when-can-debt-collectors-call-960573

 

How to Get Rid of Holiday Debt FAST

December 29, 2015 Posted by kingcade

We all have a vision of what constitutes “the perfect holiday.”  For many of us, it means countless presents under the tree, our children’s smiling faces on Christmas morning and that perfect meal with our family and loved ones all gathered around the table.  For some of us, making that vision a reality means putting it on credit cards.

If that was you this year, you’re probably wondering the next steps to take before the bills arrive and the interest starts mounting.

Here are some immediate steps you can take to help manage holiday debt in the New Year:

Make January and February lean months for spending.  With the plentiful holiday season behind us, it’s a good idea to start reeling in the spending and extravagance.  That doesn’t mean starve yourself, but it does mean sacrificing on splurges you would normally enjoy (i.e. – dinners out, visits to the salon, shopping, vacations, etc.)

Channel savings directly into those big credit card payments. Take a look at all of your credit card bills and determine which one has the highest interest rate. Make the biggest payment you possibly can afford towards that card, while still allotting enough money to pay your other bills and cover monthly expenses.

Look for zero-interest balance transfers.  BEFORE you send off that big payment, research credit card offers for balance transfers that allow you to pay 0 percent interest on the transferred balance for a certain period of time.  Just make sure you get the transferred balance paid off before the zero interest offer expires.

Sell unwanted items.  You will likely find that after the dust settles, you have some unwanted items and gifts around the house you no longer use or want.  Utilize Craigslist and eBay to sell these items and earn some extra cash.  This money can go towards making bigger payments towards your high-interest credit cards.

Start a savings plan for next holiday season. The best time to start saving for the next holiday season is right now!  If you save just $10 a week (the equivalent of a lunch out or a week’s worth of Starbucks runs) for 50 weeks, you will have more than $500 saved for next year’s shopping.   If you save $20 a week, you will have over $1,000 set aside for holiday shopping next year.  The easiest and most effective way to do this is by setting up weekly automatic transfers through your bank.

Make the holidays more realistic.  Discuss sensible downsizing when it comes to purchasing gifts next year.  Have a budget for gifts and stick to it.  Move to drawing names with family members for gift giving purposes (i.e. – Secret Santa) and discuss arrangements that reduce the challenges on travel for everyone.  The spirit of the holiday season should be about togetherness and giving thanks for all of the blessings we have- not something that causes you to go into debt.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources: http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/articles/2015-12-22/how-to-quickly-get-rid-of-holiday-debt

Parents Accrue Additional Debt for “Happier” Holidays

December 23, 2013 Posted by kingcade

According to a recent survey done by Lexington Law, 57% of parents are willing to take on credit card debt to make their children happy this holiday season. For those of us who have children, this comes as no surprise. As parents, we would go to the ends of the earth to make our children happy.

The survey revealed that parents with a household income of $35,000 or less were willing to accrue $700 in holiday debt. The surprising fact was that parents with a household income of $75,000 or more were only willing to take on $300 of debt for holiday expenditures.

The consumers who were surveyed said that last year they averaged $1,100 in charges for the holiday season. More than half of the parents said they had not saved for holiday purchases as of September, and 36% said that buying presents was more important than sticking to a budget.

One in five adults participating in the survey opened a new credit card last year during the holidays, and 5% of consumers reported they had opened three or more store cards last year. The holiday season is an easy time to pick up bad financial habits, which can lead to damage to your credit score in the New Year.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.