Holiday Debt Hit a Monumental High of $1,550 This Year — 4 Ways To Pay It Down Quickly

Winter holidays shopping, expensive time of the year.
Vitalii Petrushenko / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Despite inflation, consumers spent like crazy over the holidays, to the point that many racked up significant debt. According to a new LendingTree survey, 35% of Americans took on yuletide debt, with the average amount being $1,549. That figure rose 24% from last year, and is the highest amount of annual holiday debt reflected in the eight-year history of the report.

See: What Is the Highest Income Level for Food Stamps in 2023?
Find: 3 Easy Tips To Turn Your Credit Woes Into Wows

How can these jolly holiday spenders (perhaps you are one of them) pay off their debt quickly? 

Use Your Tax Refund

One reason to file one’s taxes early or on time is to get that tax refund as soon as possible. You can put any refund straight toward your credit card balance.

Transfer Your Credit Card Balance to a New Credit Card With No Interest

A sneaky way to conquer (or at least partially conquer) holiday debt is to transfer debt from an existing credit card to a new credit card that offers no interest for a promotional period. Be sure to review the fine print on both credit cards, though, to ensure you aren’t caught financially flat-footed.

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Ask for a Lower Interest Rate on Your Credit Cards

One little known fact is that credit card APR can be variable. If you have a good history with making credit card payments on time — and a lower APR has been recently made available by your credit card company — you could land a lower interest rate if you call customer service. Negotiations could be in your favor if you’ve been a longtime client.

Take Our Poll: How Long Do You Think It Will Take You To Pay Off Your Credit Card Debt?
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Boost Your Income

Nobody likes to hear it, but making more money really is the fastest way to quash debt. Consider looking into side hustles you can easily do from the luxury of your own home, most often via the internet.

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About the Author

Nicole Spector is a writer, editor, and author based in Los Angeles by way of Brooklyn. Her work has appeared in Vogue, the Atlantic, Vice, and The New Yorker. She's a frequent contributor to NBC News and Publishers Weekly. Her 2013 debut novel, "Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray" received laudatory blurbs from the likes of Fred Armisen and Ken Kalfus, and was published in the US, UK, France, and Russia — though nobody knows whatever happened with the Russian edition! She has an affinity for Twitter.
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