It’s easy to go overboard for Christmas. Giving extravagant gifts to your family members seems like a great idea…until you see that huge credit card bill in January.
Fortunately, you’re not facing this alone. City CU can help. Check out these ways to patch up your finances and have things right before summer.
1.) Budgeting advice
It’s very tempting to make only the minimum payments on the credit card you used to buy Christmas. Unfortunately, it’s also the best way to ensure you’re in debt for every Christmas to come. Making minimum payments on credit cards prolongs the length of time you’re in debt and spikes the total amount you pay, adding an extra $175 to a $10,000 balance at 21% APR.
What you need is an aggressive debt repayment plan. Instead of looking to pay the smallest amount possible, identify the most you can afford to pay. City CU can help with informative guides and worksheets on household budgeting.
2.) Refinancing major purchases
If you splurged on one or two major purchases, it may not be credit card debt you’re facing. Car dealers offer crazy-sounding incentives to entice people to give cars for Christmas. Then, when you realize you’re in over your head with a car payment, there’s no undoing the deal. City CU can help. Our auto loans feature rates that often are better than dealerships. You may need to finance the purchase over a longer term or restructure the loan to pay less now. Either way, you’ll find more favorable and flexible terms with us than you will at the dealer.
3.) Debt counseling
Does reading those credit card statements fill you with despair? We can help you make sense of them. Make an appointment to speak with our financial counselor, D Newkirk. You’ll learn about your rights and responsibilities and create a realistic plan to pay off your debt and avoid falling into the same trap next year.
4.) Personal loans
Instead of making dozens of minimum payments, focus your debt into one manageable plan through debt consolidation. Amazingly, this can save you money in the long run by lowering your interest rate and monthly payment commitment. Collateral isn’t necessary. All you need is some basic personal information and a willing partner, like City CU. Our loan specialists can help you organize and simplify your payments, working toward a debt-free life.
For more financial education or to set up an appointment with our debt counselor, visit our Education page.