Hi my name is Michelle and I am seeking help on how to clear off my credit card debt? Since the pandemic started I have lost my job, been on unemployment and struggling to clear off my credit card debt. It is not a lot but it is hurting my credit score and report right now. My debt is around $300- $400. Not to mention, now with the holidays and having to buy gifts for my children, it has almost become impossible to pay off. My debt is with Credit One and if I don’t pay it off, it will keep my interest rate high and it keeps increasing my owed amount! Please if there is anyway in which anyone can help me on suggestions or plans just let me know. Thank you very much and I appreciate your time to helping me out. I may be able to help out with any knowledge that I have as well.
Replies sorted oldest to newest
Christmas does not have to be a time of year to increase debt. There were years (and this year is one of them) when I was not able to buy many gifts for the kids, when they only received one gift, when I wrapped a handwritten gift card for a time when I had money for a gift, when I had to find other ways to make the holidays special...
You are unemployed, and that's a good reason for a VERY toned down Christmas. Will they be disappointed? Sure. However, it's a life lesson. Christmas is not only about the gifts! So, since you are asking, I would NOT increase my debt for the holiday. Since you want to reduce your debt, I would put any money possible towards paying off that debt.
Lots of agencies give more over the holidays. You can get more food assistance, fuel assistance, holiday assistance with agencies that help out kids/giving trees, etc. Utilize those if needed.
Good luck. I know it's hard to not be able to give our kids what we want to, and to see them disappointed. You being in a better place, and more stable, is a wonderful gift to them. (Even if they don't realize it at the time.)
I agree with KellyfromKeene about not adding more debt. I know we all want to give our kids a lot of gifts but it will be more harmful if you go into more debt. This is such a stressful year for everyone but you will make yourself ill if you don't reduce the anxiety about money that you have. I hope you can get some assistance from some organizations.
Best of luck to you!
It's sooo Much better to be able to pay current BILLS and stay above than to Drown in debt during the Christmas season ( I stupidly did that one time in my life will never do it again)
Stay smart swim on the top of your debt!
OH, although you don't say what your children's ages are, one way to go is to a booklet of gifts they may want in the future, let them pick 1 out of several, that way they get to make a choice. It is a really good practical idea. So much better to pay your bills, they charge interest and the children don't, plus there are after Christmas sales. Maybe a trip to the Dollar store would be a resource.
That reminds me, Home Depot was giving away live Christmas trees last year, think it was the night before Christmas, or so, keep watch, it can't hurt.
Best to you.
Have you tried contacting the credit card company about your circumstances? They might be open to working with you on a payment plan and/or lowering your interest rate or some other arrangement. As someone who has been in similar circumstances in the past, I did contacted creditors and they were willing to work with me until I could get back on my feet.
I totally agree with the above replies. If you buy alot of gifts for your children it will feel good for awhile. THEN...the monthly bills come in. Now your stressed & edgy. NO Longer a fun christmas & your children WILL FEEL your stress too. All the gifts in the world won't change that ache in the pit of ya'lls stomachs over money. Do yourself & kids a favor, ask for help thru agencies. If it's too late then the suggestion of them picking something for after christmas is a good option too. You will be modeling good money management in front of them (if they are old enough). Also teaching them about fiscal restraint, meaning you can't always get what you want immediately.
First off, make the minimum payments. The ONLY way your balance gets higher is if you make no payments at all. If you pay the minimum, your balance will go down, just not as quickly as you want. I have TWO cards from Credit One, so I know for a fact if you make the minimum payment, your balance will not go up unless you are getting late fees or not paying it at all.
The struggle is real. There have been times when I have had to make my credit card payments with the money for my electric bill just so I could use the card to pay my electric bill. It's a vicious cycle. If you only have one card at that balance, your payment should be around $30 per month. Think of things you can do JUST to pay $40 on the card. Can you find old toys, clothing, etc that will make you $40 a month selling them on FB Marketplace? I bet you could.