3 Ways to Deal with Your Holiday Debt Before it Gets Out of Control

holiday debtDo you have high credit card balances after all the holiday shopping you did in November and December and still haven’t made a dent in it yet? First, you might want to plug your information into First Financial’s credit card payoff calculator and see how much you need to put toward those bills each month to get debt free within a few months, or whatever your debt-payoff timeline may be.

1. Open a Low Rate Balance Transfer Card

If the debt you’ve accumulated resides on a credit card with a high interest rate, you may want to explore a lower rate financing offer by transferring your balance to another credit card. This strategy requires a little math and firm commitment to your plan.

Make sure you know exactly how much you’ll be paying in fees when you transfer the balance and how long you have this lower rate financing. You can use one of the debt payoff calculators mentioned above to determine how much you need to pay each month in order to eliminate your debt within that period.

During this payoff time, it’s crucial you not add to your balance, because that will only make your goal more difficult (and expensive) to achieve.

First Financial has a great Visa Platinum Card with a really low rate, no balance transfer fees, no annual fee, plus rewards for purchases!* As a first time user, if approved – you may also be eligible for an introductory APR of 2.9% on all purchases and balance transfers for the first 6 months.** Get started by applying online today.

2. Get Your Money Back

If for some reason you never gave out all your gifts, you may want to consider returning some.  In the likely event you already distributed your gifts, take a look at your own haul. You don’t want to insensitively get rid of gifts someone thoughtfully picked out for you, but if you find yourself with things you don’t need or gift cards you don’t plan to use, consider selling them to help pay off your debt. Even exchanging an unwanted item for something you need could help you save money, if you were thinking of buying it anyway. Any way you can cut back on spending in the coming months will help you repay your credit card debt faster.

3. Take Out a Personal Loan

If you’re looking at several months or years of debt repayment, you may be better off consolidating the high-interest credit card debt with a personal loan at a lower interest rate. Again, it’s crucial you not add to the debt during or after you’ve repaid it, because that will drag out your debt issues and cost you more money in interest. It’s not always necessary to consolidate credit card debt, but sometimes that’s the best way to make repayment manageable.

First Financial also has personal loan options available, with fixed payments, plus several other great benefits.*** Apply online today!

*APR varies from 10.90% to 17.90% when you open your account based on your credit worthiness. This APR is for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Subject to credit approval. Rates quoted assume excellent borrower credit history. Your actual APR may vary based on your state of residence, approved loan amount, applicable discounts and your credit history. No Annual Fee. Other fees that apply: Cash advance fee of 1% of advance ($5 minimum and $25 maximum), Late Payment Fee of up to $25, Foreign Transaction Fee of 1% plus foreign exchange rate of transaction amount, $5 Card Replacement Fee, and Returned Payment Fee of up to $25. A First Financial membership is required to obtain a VISA Platinum Card and is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties.

**The 2.9% promotional rate will apply to purchases and balance transfers only for six statement cycles from the new account holder’s initial balance and/or initial transfer to the First Financial VISA Platinum card. The balance transfer promotional rate does NOT apply to purchases or cash advances.

***Subject to credit approval. A First Financial membership is required to obtain a personal loan and is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers, or attends school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties. A $5 deposit in a base savings account is required for credit union membership prior to opening any other account/loan.

Article Source: Christine DiGangi for http://blog.credit.com/2015/01/3-ways-to-deal-with-your-holiday-debt-before-it-gets-out-of-control-104906/

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