Important Tips to Pay Your Holiday Debt Faster
Every holiday season, Americans tend to rack up a holiday debt. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help you pay them faster.
It’s easy to enjoy the holidays with spending the money from your credit card but paying them off is another thing. This year, Americans racked up 5% more holiday debt compared to the previous year and it could be problematic for some especially those who have higher interest rates. Getting out of it can be time-consuming and expensive. If you only pay the minimum of those debts, you will be paying mostly interest but there are ways to get around it.
Use Frequent Flier Miles to Pay Holiday Debt
You can use your frequent flier miles or rewards points into cash to pay your holiday debt. You have used a credit card that has a rewards program, you may be able to use the points that you accumulated to pay for your balance. Credit cards such as the Discover Cashback Bonus as well as Capital One Quicksilver allow you to use your rewards or cashback to pay part of your statement with no minimum. Other cards also have different ways of letting you use your rewards to make different forms of payments. That’s why it’s a good idea to find a card with a low interest rate. Some cards will also let you use your rewards to pay your balance immediately.
Selling Things that You Don’t Use or Need
You can also sell your stuff for some extra cash. Today, there are so many available networks where you can sell used stuff online. You can start with gadgets or technology. The average household has at least $264 in their unused tech items according to a study. Most likely, you have old smartphones or laptops lying around and this could be a great time to make them useful and trade them for cash.
Many sites allow you to do this like eBay and Amazon. You can also ask your mobile carrier if they have a trade-in program for smartphones or buyback sites like Decluttr.com and Gazelle.com. You can get as much as $259 for an unlocked iPhone 6s that is in good condition. The clothes that have been dusting on your closet could also make you some extra cash and if you have a few luxury items that you don’t really need. You can also sell furniture items on Letgo or the Facebook Marketplace.
Unused Gift Cards
You may have gotten a gift card from a promo over the holidays or as a gift at some point and have not used it. People would be interested to buy those at a price lower than the value of the gift card. You can turn them into cash. Go to sites like CardKangaroo or Raise and your giftcards can be sold at a discounted rate. A $25 iTunes gift card can be sold at $16 and so on.
You can also check to see if you have any unclaimed money. It’s a good time to look up whether or not you have unclaimed funds. If you have accounts in financial institutions or companies like your savings account or stocks, your money will be kept in a holding account for your state. There is about $42 billion in the US for unclaimed funds and you could have a significant amount from there. You can search your name of your family members’ names on MissingMoney.com or Unclaimed.org.
Insurance Policy Dividends or Rewards
Your insurance company might offer dividends at the end of the year, particularly those that are insurance cooperatives and companies that are member-based. Examples are USAA and MetLife. Your premiums are usually set based on the estimated cost when the year starts and depending on how many claims the insurance company pays out, you could get a refund of the extra budget that they give to members. The amount of money that you will get depends on the company and the year. So, if your insurance company does this, it could either be applied to any balance you have left over or you could get a check in the mail between October and January.