Tips for handling credit card debt during the holidays

Tips for handling credit card debt during the holidays

With the holiday season upon us, Arizona residents struggling to make ends meet may be worried about holiday shopping. Financial constraints may put a damper on holiday plans, and Arizona residents may turn to their credit cards to help ease the immediate financial burden. However, it is easy to overspend when using the credit card, and next year may bring with it high credit card bills that cannot be paid. As payments are carried forward from one month to another, the interest rate on the balance increases, actually increasing the credit card debt on Arizona residents.

However, credit cards can be used in a manner that actually enhances their benefit. In fact, it is possible to even end up making a little extra holiday cash with the credit card.

Arizona residents should keep their eyes open for special introductory offers introduced in the holiday season. Some cards offer a zero percent annual percentage rate as an introductory offer. This means users do not have to pay interest for six to 18 months. Therefore, payments will be directed solely to the balance without being weighed down by interest payments. However, it is important to pay off the balance before the introductory offer time expires, or the debt could get out of control.

In addition, many credit cards offer cash back rewards. For every dollar spent, Arizona residents may get some points that may translate to rewards later. Being aware of categories and rewards and using credit cards accordingly may help keep the debt down while spending.

It is possible that despite these tactics, Arizona residents may still find themselves struggling with debt. For them, filing for bankruptcy may be the best option. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows the debtor to make court supervised monthly payments based on their income, allowing them to repay their debt without excessively burdening them. This way, debtors can enter the new year with a new financial slate.

Source: Huffington Post, "Credit card tricks to save on holiday shopping," Nov. 25, 2013

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