How to rebound from holiday debt

January 03, 2022
A collage of a bunch of melting snowmen

The holidays are over, and now the bills are rolling in. And while your holiday spending may have seemed like a good idea with joyful carols trilling in the background, now that the party’s over and it’s time to tackle the bills, you may be singing a different tune. According to CNBC, the average parent with kids under 18 planned to spend $276 per child on gifts, and most folks spent an average of $251 on their partner. That kind of expenditure can seem daunting on top of all your other expenses — holiday and otherwise. Even if you have a spending plan, it’s not unusual for extras and add-ons to creep in, and many of us find ourselves turning to credit cards, meaning holiday spending can stretch well into the new year. Getting back on track doesn’t have to be a headache, though; read on for some (fairly painless!) ways to rebound from your holiday spending.

Make a plan and stick to it

So, what should you do when one or more of your accounts are starting to hemorrhage and your credit card balances are beginning to groan under the weight of the post-holiday burden? The most important thing is to formulate a plan and act on it. And if you’re still lugging around debt from last year, strategizing is doubly important, as the objective is going to be to wrangle as much of your outstanding debt as possible, steering you toward a clean slate.

First, make a list of all debt, including balances and interest rates. If you’ve spent out of savings or investment accounts and need to replace those funds, too, be sure to include these in your considerations. This groundwork can help you determine your course of action and repayment guidelines. Examine your budget, trimming any excess expenditures to put toward repayment, and look for ways to exceed minimum payment.

Simplify and streamline

Next, you might consider sweeping your debt into one pile, so to speak. A debt consolidation loan could help make it easier to deal with debt repayment with handling ongoing expenses. Look for one that’s easy to apply for, has a quick approval process, and requires no collateral or appraisal (like UBT’s Ready Loan). A personal loan of this nature helps position you for your next financial step by consolidating all your qualifying debts into one loan, leaving you not only with a more manageable monthly payment, but only one payment to make, which can reduce the risk of late payments or other potentially detrimental credit moves. If a secured loan would work better for you, your lending specialist could walk you through other options, such as a home equity line of credit or refinancing your auto loan. Regardless, you’ll be able to use that extra money you found in your budget toward repayment.

Another option is a 0% introductory APR balance transfer credit card offer. Going this route presents the opportunity to address your debt, interest-free, for 12 months — or whatever the intro period is in the card you have in mind (UBT can help you out there, also). This may be a smart move since you’ll reduce the number of payments you’re making each month, plus you’ll have some credit card perks, such as reward points, to enjoy. You’ll want to keep your focus on the debt repayment, though, until that goal has been achieved, rather than continuing to spend on this new card.

Once you have a solid plan in place, the only way to go is forward, and we’re right here to ensure it goes smoothly. Contact Brian with questions or for help getting started on an application.

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