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How can you reduce credit card debt after the holidays?

The holidays tend to be a time when people spend a lot of money, and that can accumulate significant credit card debt. While many can pay those debts back over time, doing so costs more when interest is at play. Sometimes, problems come up, like having hours cut at work or losing a job, which can make it hard to pay them down at all. Here are a few tips for reducing credit card debt, so you can get back on track financially.

First, remember that there are multiple options for paying down credit cards. You can pay a little bit more each month to eat away at the interest, or you can transfer all the debt onto an interest-free card so that you don't pay extra.

Some people choose to take out a personal loan to consolidate all the cards into one monthly payment. A debt management plan is another option. With this choice, you pay a single management company enough for the bills, and then it pays your debts out for you each month. These plans tend to last three to five years, and they work well if you're not making much headway on your debts.

Most importantly, you need to find a plan and stick with it. There is little use sticking to a plan for only a month or two, since many require time to get the ball rolling. For example, if you plan to pay off three cards starting with the highest payment you owe, it may not go as quickly as you'd like at first. Once that first card is paid off, though, you'll see the other debts getting paid off rapidly as you put the money you save into paying the other cards off.

If these tips aren't enough to get you ahead on your bills, another option could be seeking out bankruptcy or negotiating with your creditors with the help of an attorney.

Source: Credit.com, "5 Tips for Consolidating Credit Card Debt," accessed Dec. 01, 2016

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