Holiday Survival Guide

Helping you get through the holiday shopping season without debt.

Estimates show that the average household is set to spend almost $1,000 this year during the holiday shopping season. If you’re concerned about credit card debt, Consolidated Credit’s holiday survival guide can help you have a debt free holiday.

Additional holiday resources to help you save:

We also invite you to use the resources to help you avoid holiday debt:

How to use credit correctly during the holidays

People use credit for a variety of reasons during the holidays. It’s convenient for online shopping and you can earn valuable rewards, such as cash back. What you don’t want to do is start charging because you ran out of money. If you’ve overspent, then you need to stop spending or you’re likely to face a debt hangover next year.

Still, if you decide to use credit cards during the holiday shopping season, follow these tips to keep debt minimized:

  1. Only use a rewards credit card to make purchases that can be paid off in a single billing cycle.
  2. If purchases will take longer than a single billing cycle to pay off, use a credit card with the lowest APR.
  3. Once the bills come in, prioritize payoff on any debt that has a high interest rate first. So you pay off the rewards credit card first, making a minimum payment on the other card.
  4. Put as much money as possible to reducing your debt.
  5. Once you have the first card paid off, move on to the next. Use as much money as you have available to make the largest payments possible.
  6. After you have all holiday debt paid off, divert some of the money you’ve been using for debt reduction to start setting aside money for next year.