GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As many face credit card debt from the holidays, one expert says it’s important to make a plan on how to pay it off.
“So many of us have racked up credit card debt during the holidays. We wanted to get those perfect gifts, or perhaps we hosted a large dinner, and now we’re getting the bills and it’s kind of that moment of, ‘Now what? What do I do?'” Justin Haun with Lake Trust Credit Union said.
With the new year coming up, he said it’s a good time to make a plan on how you’re going to tackle that debt. He said you should figure out what your financial goals are and what the steps to achieve those goals will be.
You should first sit down and write out how much you owe on each credit card, what the interest rates are and what payments you’re expected to make.
“Sometimes, just getting that down on paper can be such a great way to see what your overall debt situation really looks like,” Haun said.
One strategy is to focus on paying off the credit card bills with the highest interest rates, Haun said. Another strategy is the ‘snowball method’: Pay off your smallest credit card bill first, then move on to the next smallest until you have them all paid off.
You can also talk to your financial institution about a consolidation loan.
“What it really boils down to is making a plan and sticking to it,” Haun said.