January is often a financially stressful month for many Tennessee consumers. You may relate, if you have come away from the holiday season with a whopping amount of credit card debt due to expenses associated with gift purchases or other issues. Perhaps you wound up having to swipe your credit card at the gas pump more than usual while traveling to visit relatives during the holidays.
Maybe you're among those who were in a car accident, suffered a job loss or faced other unforeseen, extenuating circumstances, such as a medical emergency that threw your finances out of whack. Even with the best intentions, it can be difficult to get things back on track when the debt balance increases and your means for paying it back doesn't. The good news is that most financial problems are temporary; a key to resolving such issues lies in how well you understand your options to secure debt relief.
Post-holiday tips that can help pay down debt
If your new year plans include setting goals to lay the groundwork for restored financial stability, the following ideas may be helpful, as you concentrate on lowering your debt:
- Separating holiday spending from other expenses can be helpful. If you placed all your holiday expenditures on the same credit card, you may want to use a different card for other expenses to keep things organized and to avoid an increased interest rate if you're unable to pay off your balance.
- Did you get double gifts, or did you receive a gift that didn't work out, such as clothing that doesn't fit? Returning items can create cash flow that you can then use toward your credit card balance.
- You may have a lot of holiday items around the house that you really don't need. Many people love finding good deals and purchasing such items in the off-season, so you might be able to sell some things to gain some debt-paying funds.
Regarding the latter, think of things, such as your artificial Christmas tree (which may be even more attractive to a prospective buyer if you include the lights or some decorations) as well as other decor that people may want but do not wish to pay retail prices to get.
When less spending and more selling isn't enough
If you can't resolve your current financial problems by adjusting your spending habits or selling a few assets, you might consider other support resources for paying off debt, such as filing for bankruptcy. There are numerous types of bankruptcy, and you may qualify for one but not another, so it is critical to learn more about eligibility requirements and the laws that govern such matters before choosing a course of action.