Tips to Beat the Post-Holiday Debt Blues

Consolidated Credit. This key step could make the difference between hundreds of dollars in fees that can be lowered, if not taken off altogether.

• Return any unused purchases. Don’t leave those items in your closet, instead take them back to the store of purchase and get your credit placed back on your credit card or the cash back.

• Stay away from debt settlement firms. Unlike debt management companies, these firms charge an upfront fee of as much as 20 percent of the total debt, the calls from collectors don’t stop, the high interest and finance charges will continue to be charged, and while undergoing the process you can still be sued.

• Don’t use credit cards at all. This will be the key ingredient in determining you overall dedication to your budget. It is important to base your budget on the cash that you bring in each month. When paying on the balance each month pay more than the minimum that is due.

Following these strategies should start you on the right path to regaining control of your finances.

Jessica Williams is Consolidated Credit’s Marketing Communications New Media Coordinator. As a member of the education team, Jessica focuses on helping consumers make better financial decisions while living debt-free. She has previously worked with Take Stock In Children, where she was a mentor and communications specialist, and, where she managed community relations, event planning, marketing, and public relations. Jessica attended both the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida where she received her B.S. in Interpersonal/Organizational Communications and Marketing. Connect with Jessica on Google+.