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How can I work down credit card debt after the holidays?

At the end of each year many New Yorkers increase their spending in order to buy gifts for the people they love. The holidays in particular are often a time of year when people let their financial planning fall to the wayside. While some people are able to cope with the added expenses the holidays often bring, others find themselves in financial hot water when their bills begin to arrive in January.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans can combat credit card debt and other forms of holiday debt by making and sticking to budgets. Budgets are realistic breakdowns of how and where a person should spend his money based on his needs. Budgets can include such categories as housing, food, utilities and discretionary spending.

A good budget can help a person control his spending and improve his chances of having extra money to put toward debts. However, for some, a good budget just isn't enough. Individuals who need more support getting ahead of credit card debt can consider reaching out to their creditors in order to establish modified credit card payment plans. Some credit card companies and other lenders will work with proactive debtors to find payment plans that are feasible, given their financial situations.

There are many self-help tools that debtors can utilize during and after the holiday season to get out from under the financial burdens and expenses they incur in December. However, not all individuals can manage their financial hardships alone. Anyone who has questions about bankruptcy or other forms of legal debt management can choose to work with a New York bankruptcy attorney to better understand the options available in their specific situations.

Source: Federal Trade Commission, "Coping with Debt," accessed Dec. 21, 2014

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