Now that the holidays are over, consumers are about to receive a New Year’s “surprise” in the form of a credit card statement. Those who already had a substantial balance on their credit cards, the extra holiday spending has only added to those balances. According to a report from credit bureau, Experian, the average credit card balance has climbed to $6,629.
You are probably wondering the next steps to take to pay down holiday debt before the interest starts mounting. We recommend taking a realistic approach in paying down the balance over the course of the first quarter of the year. By calendaring and planning out the payments, the cardholder can visualize the end goal of paying off the debt.
If the consumer has a good credit score, he or she may be able to pay down the credit card debt by consolidating it into one with a low interest rate or a zero percent promotional rate, so long as the cardholder pays the debt down before the promotional period ends. If the balance remains at the end of the promotional period, the interest rate that will kick in at that point will be more than what was originally on the card.
Another recommended method is to make multiple payments throughout the month. If the person makes payments biweekly instead of monthly, he or she will likely be able to reduce the balance at a faster rate before additional interest is incurred on the balance.
Many consumers are simply not able to pay off the balance over three months and need to spread the payments out over the course of six or even 12 months. This strategy works so long as the person plans out the payments and sticks to the plan while taking interest into account each month.
As bankruptcy attorneys, we see credit card debt as one of the most common problems facing those with serious financial challenges. It is not surprising with the high interest rates, unreasonable fees, penalties and never-ending minimum payments that do not even make a dent in your actual debt. We offer additional tips for eliminating credit card debt on our blog.
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If you have 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.