How to pay off your 2019 Christmas Debt | finder.com
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How should you consolidate debt after Christmas?

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Don’t let 12 days of Christmas spending turn into a 12-month debt hangover

If you overspent on presents this year, a balance transfer credit card or a consolidation loan can help you manage your credit card debt — but watch out for interest rates that are far from jolly.

What options do I have to consolidate Christmas debt?

You have two main options: a debt consolidation loan or a balance transfer credit card.

  • Debt consolidation personal loan. These loans are unsecured and allow you to bring a number of debts into one account so that you only have one monthly payment to keep track of. By consolidating separate credit accounts you may be able to reduce interest and fees.
  • Balance transfer credit card. If you have debt across one or more cards, you can consolidate your debt to a balance transfer credit card. Some cards offer 0% interest for an introductory period, but if you can’t pay your debt off before that time is up you could end up with a high rate. You’ll also need to keep an eye on balance transfer fees and annual fees.

Which Christmas debt consolidation option is right for me?

The best option for you depends on how much debt you’ve accrued:

  • If you can pay your debts off quickly. If your total debt is small enough to pay off in a year or less, a balance transfer card with 0% interest for the introductory period will be your best option.
  • If it’ll take more than a year to pay your debts off. If your total debt is big enough that you’ll still be paying if off next Christmas, a debt consolidation loan will be your best option.

How do I compare balance transfer credit cards?

There are a number of features to look for when choosing a balance transfer credit card:

  • Balance transfer interest rate. This is the promotional rate that will be applied to the debt that you transfer. Most cards offer a 0% APR rate, but you might not qualify if you have bad credit. If your credit score is low, you may still qualify for a card with a low introductory rate.
  • Balance transfer promotional period. How long will this promotional rate apply? These periods can be between 3 and 24 months. The interest rate on the card will likely spike pretty high when the introductory period is over, so you want to make sure you can pay your balance in full before then.
  • Standard rate. This is the rate that will apply to your balance after the promotional period ends. If you don’t pay your balance in full in time, can you still afford the card?
  • Fees. Check whether a balance transfer fee applies and whether you’ll need to pay an annual fee for the card.
  • Balance transfer limits and restrictions. Confirm how much you’re able to transfer. For some cards, you can’t transfer a debt that will be more than 80% or more of your credit limit. You’ll also likely need to make the balance transfer at the time of application in order to take advantage of the promotional rate. Make sure you’re familiar with all restrictions so you don’t get any nasty surprises when you apply.

Learning more about transferring your existing credit card balances

How do I compare debt consolidation loans?

When you compare options for debt consolidation personal loans, check the following:

  • Interest rate. First, check whether the rate is variable or fixed. Variable rates may change over your loan term while fixed rates remain, well, fixed. Fixed rates are preferable, but variable rates are common.
  • Fees. What fees will you be charged? Check for upfront fees such as establishment or application fees as well as ongoing fees such as annual or monthly fees.
  • Loan limits. How much are you able to borrow and will it be sufficient to consolidate your debt?
  • Loan purpose. Not all lenders allow you to use their personal loans for debt consolidation, even if they are unsecured. Make sure you’re able to use it for what you need before you apply.
  • Loan terms. Check the terms of the loan and use our consolidation loan calculator to find out what your monthly payments will be.
  • Repayment flexibility. Are you able to make extra repayments throughout the loan or pay it off early without penalty? Look for early repayment penalties or restrictions.

Compare debt consolidation loans

Compare debt consolidation options

Debt consolidation loans

Rates last updated January 17th, 2019

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Unfortunately, none of the personal loan providers offer loans for that credit score. If you are in urgent need of a small loan, you might want to consider a short term loan.
Name Product Product Description Min. Credit Score Max. Loan Amount APR
Credible Personal Loans
Get personalized rates in minutes and then choose a loan offer from several top online lenders.
Good to excellent credit
$100,000
4.99% to 36% (fixed)
Even Financial Personal Loans
Get connected to competitive loan offers instantly from top online consumer lenders.
550
$100,000
3.84% to 35.99% (fixed)
LendingClub Personal Loan
A peer-to-peer lender offering fair rates based on your credit score.
640
$40,000
6.95% to 35.89% (fixed)
FreedomPlus Personal Loans
Consolidate debt and more with these low-interest loans. Cosigners welcome.
620
$40,000
5.99% to 29.99% (fixed)
SoFi Personal Loan Fixed Rate (with Autopay)
No fees. Multiple member perks such as community events and career coaching.
680
$100,000
6.79% to 15.49% (fixed)
Monevo Personal Loans
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.
550
$100,000
3.34% to 35.99% (fixed)
Payoff Personal Loans
Pay down your debt with a fixed APR and predictable monthly payments.
640
$35,000
5.99% to 24.99% (fixed)

Compare up to 4 providers

0% balance transfer credit cards

Updated January 17th, 2019
Name Product Filter values Introductory Balance Transfer APR APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases Annual Fee Minimum Credit Score
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.99% to 25.74% variable)
16.99% to 25.74% variable
$0
670
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.99% to 25.74% variable)
16.99% to 25.74% variable
$0
670
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
15.24% to 26.24% variable
$0
680
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
15.24% to 26.24% variable
$95
680
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
15.24% to 26.24% variable
$0
680
Earn up to $250 back. Earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Plus, earn an additional $100 back after you spend an additional $6,500 in purchases within your first 12 months. Rates & Fees
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 14.24% variable)
14.24% variable
$0
670
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable)
15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable
$0
670
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
0% for the first 18 months (then 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable)
13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable
$0
670
A 18 months 0%% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 16.99% variable)
16.99% variable
$195
740
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 16.99% variable)
16.99% variable
$495
670
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
0% for the first 15 billing cycles (then 16.99% variable)
16.99% variable
$995
740
Earn 2x points when redeemed for airfare through the Luxury rewards program.
1.99% for the first 6 monthly billing cycles (then 16.24% to 22.24% variable)
16.24% to 22.24% variable
$0
670
1% cash back to the nonprofits, K-12 schools, colleges and religious organizations of your choice.
9.95% for the first 6 months (then 17.99% fixed)
17.99% fixed
$39
300
Borrow up to $10,000 and get your credit score back on track.
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates (then 15.24% to 25.24% variable)
15.24% to 25.24% variable
$0
720
Earn more cash back for the things you buy most.
NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card
NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card
7.9% for the first 90 days (then 11.9% to 17.99% variable)
11.9% to 17.99% variable
$0
670
Enjoy perks and save money while gaining points with every purchase.
10.99% for the first 6 months (then 24.99% variable)
24.99% variable
$0
580
2% cashback at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus 1% cash back on all other credit card purchases.

N/A

20.99% variable
$25
300
Establish credit history - with responsible use you may be upgraded to an unsecured credit card.

N/A

21.99% variable
$39
300
Helps establish, strengthen and even rebuild your credit.

N/A

21.24% variable
$29
300
Get worldwide purchasing power and flexibility as you work to build or re-establish your credit history.

N/A

26.99% variable
$0
300
Take control and build your credit with responsible use.
Aspire Platinum Mastercard®
Aspire Platinum Mastercard®
0% for the first 6 billing cycles (then 8.9% to 18% variable)
8.9% to 18% variable
$0
580
Enjoy a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 6 months.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

A little planning can go a long way when it comes to Christmas spending. Put a plan in place, and if you need a Christmas credit card make sure you carefully consider all of your options. This way you can enjoy, rather than worry about, the holiday season.

However, if you find your credit score on the naughty list, you may want explore debt consolidation options for bad credit.

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