CHARLOTTE, N.C., January 4, 2008 – It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday spirit and spend more than you should. But with the gift giving season behind us and your credit card bill looming, the reality of overspending has likely started to set in. Don’t panic – here are a few helpful tips from LendingTree.com to help ease your holiday debt hangover:
Pay as much as you can each month
The best way to pay off credit card debt is to maximize monthly payments. Creating a simple budget can help determine where costs can be cut from everyday and monthly expenses, freeing up cash to put towards credit card bills.
Look for a lower interest rate
If you have multiple credit cards or an account with a high interest rate, you may want to consider consolidating or transferring your existing balance(s) to a new card with a lower interest rate. There are a variety of credit card deals out there, so shop around and see what offers are available. However, if you go this route, make sure you read the fine print so you know there are no strings attached or hidden fees.
Negotiate with your credit card providerBelieve it or not, a lower credit card interest rate could be only a phone call away. That’s right, your current credit card provider may be willing to work with you to lower your interest rate. This could not only help now, but in the future as well. It’s as simple as phoning your credit card company and asking what they can do.
Use your rainy day fund
We know – you had a holiday budget in tact but it got a little out of control. How about paying off the extra balance with your savings? That holiday bonus, tax return or rainy day fund was supposed to be a trip to the Bahamas or a new flat screen TV. However, with a large credit card balance that has quickly grown, you may want to rethink that vacation or big ticket item and use your extra savings to pay off your card, especially one with a high interest rate.
While the holidays might have been brutal on your pocketbook, these tips can help you pay off your credit card bill before it becomes a long-term financial burden. And, when the next holiday season rolls around, consider using cash or a debit card instead of your credit cards. Your wallet will thank you.
For more budget tips to help you get rid of unruly debt, check out the LendingTree Credit Center: www.lendingtree.com/credit-overview.
About LendingTree, LLC
LendingTree, LLC is the nation’s number one online lending exchange, providing a marketplace that connects consumers with multiple lenders that compete for their business. Since inception, LendingTree has facilitated more than 23 million loan requests and $185 billion in closed loan transactions. LendingTree provides access to mortgages and refinance loans, home equity loans/lines of credit, auto loans, personal loans, credit cards and high-yield savings accounts via www.lendingtree.com and 800-555-TREE.
Launched in 1998 with headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, LendingTree, LLC also owns and operates LendingTree Loans sm, LendingTree Settlement Services, LLC, GetSmart®, and HomeLoanCenter.com. LendingTree, LLC is an operating company of IAC.