Say Goodbye to Debt on 2008

by : Liz Roberts

The past holidays may have tipped you off your budget- with all the parties to prepare and all the gifts to give. Are you ready to face the new year with an excellent credit standing? Or are you one of those consumers who are having trouble paying off their credit card charges from their account?

A telephone survey conducted on December 6-9, 2007 by the Consumer Reports National Research Center revealed that only 65% of credit card holders intend to pay off their balances on the first month of 2008. The rest plan to carry over balances on their account on to the next two or three months. This could mean paying for additional interest rate unless your credit card has a 0% interest offer.

If you've spent a lot during the holidays, what can you do to take control of your debts and avoid further problems? Here are some tips to consider:

Transfer your high-rate balances. If you're credit card doesn't have a 0% interest rate offer, then transfer your balances to a credit card that does. Usually, the zero interest rate is an introductory promo that lasts from 6 months to a year depending on the issuer. By transferring your balances over, you can afford to pay off your dues in installments without incurring interest.

Don't be content with submitting only the minimum payment. As you prolong your credit card debts, you increase your risk of getting stuck to more debts.

Freeze the use of your credit cards. Since you're still paying for the charges you made over the holidays, fight the temptation to charge anything new on those cards until the holiday debt is paid off. Concentrate on bringing your credit card debt down to $0.

Cut back on your costs. In order to pay off your credit card balances in full, it may be necessary to cut back on your spending. Examine your monthly expenses and see whether it's possible for you to minimize your costs. You may need to make some sacrifices but if it can help you bounce back from your debts, then those sacrifices are definitely worth it.

Check your credit report. It's good to start the year right. Order a copy of your credit report and make sure that there were no unauthorized charges made in your account. Cases of credit card fraud and ID theft are at a high especially during the holiday seasons so you want to make sure that you're not one of the unlucky ones who has been victimized. In case there are incorrect accounts call your creditors immediately and the three major credit bureaus to dispute these accounts.