Here's Your Holiday (Credit) Hangover Cure
The holiday season is upon us, and if you’re like most Americans right now, you’re feeling a credit hangover. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers were estimated to spend $59.6 billion dollars, and I’m willing to guess that the majority of that amount will be carried on credit.
If you’re looking to avoid a prolonged credit hangover, here are a few things that you can do to quickly recover:
Check Your Statements: It’s a simple and mundane chore, but if you look closely, you may find errors, double charges, or even fraud on your statement. In 2017, identity theft impacted 16.7 million consumers, with almost $17 million stolen.
Make A Plan: The interest from credit card debt adds up quickly. A simple plan to pay off your credit cards can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Not sure where to start? Try starting with your smallest credit card, doubling the minimum payment, and paying it off. Once you’ve paid off that card, take the monthly amount you were paying, add it to the next card’s minimum payment, and keep the momentum as you tackle credit card debt.
Check Your Credit Report: If you’re trying to buy a home in the next 6-12 months, be aware of the impact that you’re holiday spending will have. How you use your credit cards can dramatically impact your credit score, making up 30% of your FICO credit score. We recommend checking your credit report monthly to ensure you maintain a healthy credit score so that you stay on track to credit qualify for your upcoming home purchase.
We hope this helps you manage your holiday credit hangover.
If you have questions about building healthy credit, we’d love to help. Schedule time with our team here.