How to Pay Down Your Christmas Credit Card Debt Faster

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Posted on 01/05/2010

Along with a new sweater, knife sharpener and remote control car, have the holidays left you some Christmas credit card debt? It’s not quite as easy to get rid of as all that colorful wrapping paper on the living room floor, but with these tips your holiday debt will be long gone before bikini season rolls around.


Ignore the Minimum Payment - Your credit card bill displays the minimum payment. That’s the lowest amount of money you can fork over each month to keep them happy. But if you only pay the minimum your debt will stick around much longer than that snow on the ground. Ignore that number and instead get out your calculator. Select a goal date for being debt free and divide your debt by the number of months until that date. Make this amount your new minimum monthly payment.


Don’t Pay Interest - If your Christmas debt is on a high-interest credit card, try transferring the balance to one that offers zero-percent interest. That way you can focus on paying down the debt without racking up interest. Search and compare offers from various credit card companies at Creditcards.com. (http://www.creditcards.com/balance-transfer.php) Watch out for the expiration date of the no-interest period. It is typically only an introductory offer and will jump up.


Slash Spending - Chances are you’ve already cut your budget back, but find new ways to slash your spending even more. Are you spending too much on birthday, Valentine’s and anniversary gifts for your friends and family? Set a spending limit and stick to it. Need inspiration? Look at these $5 gift ideas at DesignerGifts.com. (http://www.designergifts.com/gifts-under-5.html) Rather than spending money going out, rediscover your board game collection for free entertainment.


Generate Extra Cash - Surely you didn’t love everything Santa brought you. Pay off your Christmas debt by selling off some of your unwanted gifts. Put that money directly towards your credit card balance. You could also try getting a part-time job on nights and weekends. The Census Bureau is currently hiring hundreds of thousands of temporary census workers for the 2010 Census. (http://2010.census.gov/2010censusjobs/) The jobs pay well and will help you eliminate your Christmas debt quickly.


By Allison Storm

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