It’s so easy to go overboard on Christmas. If you have kids, you want everything to be perfect for them. You want to build priceless memories, so spending any amount seems worth it. If you’re just getting started, you want to impress your family with how together you have things. Giving extravagant gifts to your family members seems like a great idea … until you’re staring at a huge credit card bill in January.
However it happened, it’s important to approach this problem rationally. Constantly blaming yourself won’t fix the problem. The important part now is to right yourself financially. You can’t take back gifts and return them at this point. You have to deal with the situation that’s in front of you.
Fortunately, you’re not alone. Catholic Federal Credit Union is here to help. Check out these four ways you can patch up your finances and have things right before summer.
1.) Budgeting Advice
It can be very tempting to make only the minimum payments on the credit card you used to finance Christmas. Unfortunately, it's also the best way to ensure you're in debt for all the Christmases from here on out.
Making minimum payments on credit cards prolongs the length of time you're in debt. It also makes the total amount you pay for your debt skyrocket. Making just the minimum payment adds an extra $175 to a $10,000 balance at 21% APR.
Members of Catholic Federal have access to free financial counseling, budgeting and debt management programs through Accel, this is a free benefit for members of the credit union.
Making an budget is a smart choice, free BudgetSmart software is available for members of Catholic Federal to help you track expenses.
2.) Refinancing Major Purchases
If you went overboard on one or two major purchases, like a car for a teen, it may not be credit card debt you need help overcoming. Slick dealers offer crazy-sounding incentives like zero down and zero percent financing on cars to entice people to give cars for Christmas. Unfortunately, once you've signed on the dotted line, you may see you're in for more than you can handle with a car payment.
Catholic Federal can help. You may be able to finance over a longer term to manage the monthly expenses, or you may just need to restructure to pay less now. Either way, contact us to see if we can offer you favorable and flexible terms with us.
3.) Getting Out of Debt
Does reading those credit card statements fill you with a dizzying sense of despair?
Make an appointment to speak with a loan specialist at Catholic Federal. We may be able to save you money by lowering your interest rate and helping you pay off your debt faster and come up with 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, wouldn't it be nice to focus your debt into one manageable plan? A personal loan can do just that. Best of all, it can save you money in the long run by lowering your interest rate and monthly payment commitment. Rather than paying a credit card APR, you can get the lower fixed rate on a personal loan.
Our loan specialists can help you organize and simplify your payments, working toward a debt-free life.