between $100 and $150 a month for your minimum payment. That’s because banks usually calculate your minimum payment at 2% to 3% of your total balance.
Is paying triple your minimum payment still not financially doable? Tough luck. Figure how to make it work. Go back and see strategy #2 above on offsets. Work in another offset or a series of offsets that would free up enough cash flow to allow you to triple your minimum monthly payment.
I don’t call this technique payback for nothing.
Now what about that bank or credit card issuer of yours? They did approve all those holiday charges, right? That’s fine. That’s how banks make their profit—by lending money to consumers. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay with the same credit card company if you’re not getting the lowest possible interest rate, or optimal repayment terms.
So here’s some “payback” for the banks.
Go dig through your mail right now and find a 0% balance transfer offer from any company. In fact, any low-rate deal will do, as long as it’s an interest rate that’s better the one you have.
Now call up three of your creditors and tell them you got a better deal from the competition and ask them to match or beat that interest rate. If they won’t budge, tell them they just lost your business.
Then follow through on your threat/promise and take your business elsewhere.
As you can see, by using these three strategies—returns, offsets and payback—you can help cure a holiday shopping hangover.