Preventing Christmas debt from being your New Year's Grinch - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Preventing Christmas debt from being your New Year's Grinch

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December 27, 2004

Albany - Are you worried about the ghost of Christmas past following you all year long on your credit card bill? Now's the time to start getting into fiscal shape for the New Year.

Stop the spending, don't make additional charges. Pay down your credit card fast. If you can only afford the minimum payment each month, you might want to talk with your bank about loan options. "If you can pay a loan in twelve months and use that money to pay off your credit card debt, a lot of times the interest on the loan at the bank would be less expensive than the credit card on a monthly payment basis," said Luke Flatts, Regions Bank.

You should also try to call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate. Likely, they'll say yes.

Try to cut daily expenses like going out to eat, you'll be surprised how much you can save. Financial experts urge you to begin a monthly saving plan. Try setting aside 10% of your monthly income, so next year overspending won't be the Christmas Grinch.