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Holiday season leads many into damaging credit card debt

Shopping for loved ones during the holidays can be a special experience for some New Yorkers. In fact, giving to others can be one of the most rewarding things a person can do all year. Unfortunately, however, in the excitement of making purchases to bestow upon others, a person can accumulate significant and sometimes overwhelming amounts of credit card debt.

If a person has the financial capacity to easily pay off their credit card balance, then their holiday shopping practices may not make a huge impact on their overall financial situation. If their savings are insufficient to tackle the credit card bills they amass from their holiday shopping sprees, then they may have to investigate how best to manage the outstanding balances that require their attention.

One way to tackle holiday spending debt is by making payments on one's credit cards that exceed the minimums. Minimum payments on credit cards are not designed to allow credit card holders to pay off their balances quickly for the simple fact that credit card companies make more money when debtors have to pay fees and interest on their balances. A payment that exceeds the minimum due can help a debtor chip away at their balance and reduce their burden in a timely manner.

Another way a person may address their holiday credit card debt is through negotiations with their credit card companies. Some companies are willing to work with individuals facing unmanageable debt so that they may find payment plans that help all of the parties involved.

Finally, when consumer debt, including credit card debt, becomes so overwhelming that an individual is not able to manage it on their own, they may consider filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy options are available for individuals and businesses and can allow them to eliminate their debts while starting over on solid financial footing.

Source: Forbes, "How To Avoid Credit Card Debt This Holiday Season," Nick Clements, Dec 7, 2016

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