January 5, 2017

5 Ways to Handle Post-Holiday Credit Card Debt

By Jennifer Clark

Portrait of unhappy stressed beautiful person looking in open wallet with shocked expression while holding color shopping bags at mall entrance. Young model spent too much money during shopping time

With the holidays behind us, many consumers are dealing with a mean post-holiday hangover. According to a new report from Finder.com, American consumers are estimated to have spent over $181M on presents during the holidays. And if you’re one of the many consumers that needs a little help dealing with holiday credit card debt, here are some tips to help you recover faster and prioritize your credit health, which is a new year’s resolution anyone can feel good about.

1. Focus on the card with the highest interest rate first.

Most financial experts say this is the way to go. The card with the highest interest rate is usually the one that will cause you the most financial pain. If you have a balance due on multiple cards, focus on the card with the highest-interest rate while at least making the minimum payments on your other cards.

2. Consolidate your debt.

Debt consolidation can come in many forms like transferring balances on credit cards, to refinancing your mortgage, to getting a personal loan at a low rate through reputable marketplace lenders like Prosper.

3. Keep Saving.

While you might be tempted to put every penny toward your debt and expenses, personal finance expert Andrea Woroch, suggests that you make saving a priority. “Make sure you’re contributing to a retirement fund if one is offered at work, and always pay yourself first, even if it’s just $20 a month.”

4. Snag a Side Gig.

Consider turning a hobby into a side gig. There are tons of sites like Thumbtack and TaskRabbit that can connect you with people in your community looking to pay someone for odd jobs.

5. Track Your Spend and Monitor Your Credit.

As you work on pocketbook recovery this year make sure you’re keeping an eye on your credit score and tracking your spending. Top personal finance apps like Prosper Daily can help you get on top of your finances in no time.