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The best way to deal with holiday debt is to avoid it in the first place. That said, if you already have some existing holiday debt, perhaps credit card debt, consolidating the debt, thus making it easy to pay off, is one of the best ways to get back on the path to financial freedom.

piggy bank with budget written in chalk on a blackboard
Money box

Here are some fundamental principles that will help you consolidate and pay off holiday debt quickly and efficiently:

Track your debt

Tracking debt is the first step to paying it off. Tracking allows you to verify what you owe. It also ensures that when it comes down to paying credit bills or debts, you know what debt to give the highest priority.

Budget

To start paying off your holiday debt, you need to make a budget with room for debt repayment. While it seems obvious, this is a must-do if you are serious about ditching the debt monkey for good.

Budgeting ensures you have all your financial resources accounted for. This makes it easier to know how much you need to direct to debt repayment each month and which debt consolidation plan will work best for you based on what you need to pay

The secret to budgeting is that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Stick with what works best for YOU.

Reduce your monthly expenses and use that money to pay off the debt

One of the surest ways to pay off debt quickly is by reducing your monthly expenses and directing the freed-up cash toward debt repayment.

There are two fundamental ways to do this:

  • Cut out unnecessary expenses and use that money to pay off debt instead of using it for things like movies, eating out, and other wants.
  • Use your budget to write down everything you spend in each category, then look at how much you could have for debt repayment if you eliminated or reduced some expenses. 

For example, if you save 20% of your income, consider directing a portion, say 5%, to paying high-interest holiday debt. After all, saving when you have a piling-up debt mound does nothing but add to your financial burden.

Take a personal short-term and consolidation loan

Personal short-term and consolidation loans can help you pay off holiday debt faster.

Consolidating multiple debts into a personal consolidation loan is an excellent way to make debt repayment more manageable, especially because these loans often have lower interest rates than what you’d pay on a traditional credit card. This consolidation loan typically includes an initial payment followed by regular payments until you can pay the balance in full.

For example, a SoFi credit card consolidation loan allows you to consolidate and transfer your high-interest credit card debt into a personal, low-interest, zero-fee $5k-$100K loan with more manageable monthly payments.

Consider using a 0% APR balance transfer credit card

One of the best ways to consolidate debt, holiday debt or otherwise, is to transfer it to a lower-interest or 0% APR credit card. This will allow you to pay off the debt quickly while taking advantage of the low-interest rate attached to the new card.

A 0% APR balance transfer credit card can also make it easier to pay off debt faster, mainly because of the advantage of not paying interest on the balance transfer and purchase for a specified period. This can result in lower interest paid over time, potentially making it easier to get ahead of debt before it spirals out of control.

Conclusion

More importantly, remember that you cannot pay off any debt fast by paying the minimum amount. You need to be willing and able to pay more than that, which calls on you to get serious about directing extra money each month toward debt repayment.

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