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Credit Counseling Advice

Credit Counseling Advice During the Holidays

Sound credit counseling advice for the holidays can help you prepare for what some call the most stressful season of the year. For some, gift giving and celebrations can cause a lot of financial pressure. From the delicious family feast at Thanksgiving to the beautifully decorated home and mounds of presents under the tree for Christmas, the holidays are non-stop activity – and non-stop spending, often on credit if you are not prepared!

Maybe you had some unsecured debt before the holidays, so you take out a line of credit or a home equity loan to consolidate your credit and pay off your credit cards which increased your buying power on credit cards that now have a zero balance and you took advantage. By doing this you have put more financial risk by borrowing against your home and risking default while at the same time have incurred additional credit card debt.

By the time the season ends, all of those charges add up. When January arrives and you begin receiving updated credit card statements, you're shocked to discover how much you actually borrowed. Now you're feeling like you're the main character in a modernized version of A Christmas Carol, where the Ghost of Christmas Past haunts you with a pile of debt. You desperately need credit counseling advice.

Credit Counseling Advice from ACCC

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) specializes in giving credit counseling advice to people whose debt has grown out of control from the holidays or any other reason. Our counseling programs educate you on how to prepare a budget and follow it diligently. When you need help getting out of debt, our debt management plans consolidate credit payments and may also reduce your interest rates and the time it takes you to pay off your debts.

Credit Counseling Advice for Surviving the Holiday Season

Here are some tips to get through the holiday season without piling up more debt than you can handle:

  • Set expectations with yourself and your family. It might not be possible to buy the latest fancy toys or games advertised on TV. Explaining the limitations reduces the stress for you, your children, and your spouse. This is also a great opportunity to dispense your own credit counseling advice. Use the subject of holiday spending to teach your children about the importance of using credit wisely.
  • Set a spending limit, and save money in a separate account to achieve that goal.
  • Never borrow money for consolidation of debt so that you can add more charges to your credit cards. Live within your means, even during the holidays.

Looking for Credit Counseling Advice?

Contact ACCC for credit counseling advice if you're feeling overwhelmed by your debts. You may be wondering, "How can I consolidate my debt without taking out a loan?" Our consolidation program enables you to make just one payment each month, without borrowing money.

If the situation is bad enough that you're considering filing for bankruptcy, please ask us about U.S. Department of Justice approved credit counseling for bankruptcy [link to: "credit counseling bankruptcy" page].

ACCC also offers credit counseling advice for housing finance issues such as reverse mortgages. We are among the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's approved credit counseling agencies for reverse mortgage counseling. In addition, our counselors can answer your questions about buying a home and direct you to many educational resources that will guide you throughout the process.

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) provides nonprofit credit counseling, financial education, debt relief consolidation and debt reduction services for consumers nationwide. We offer free credit counseling to help individuals and families learn how to pay down credit card debt and how to eliminate debt altogether. As an alternative to expensive unsecured debt consolidation programs for settling credit card debt, our debt management programs help consumers pay off debts and manage credit card debt more quickly by consolidating payments. We also offer debt negotiation services to help reduce finance charges and interest rates. And our financial education services show consumer how to manage money more effectively and how to get rid of credit card debt more quickly – usually in five years or less.

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