March 21 is the second annual Credit Card Reduction Day, an obscure holiday created in 2016. You’ve never heard of it? Neither had I until just a few days ago, but I’m sure plenty of us are still dealing with the fallout of holiday gift purchases and stressing about the scarcity of funds available to pay income taxes that are due on April 15. This is as good a time as any to think about reducing any accumulated credit card debt.
According to holidayinsights.com, the holiday’s creator, credit card debt "takes a tremendous toll on the lives of Americans." They suggest several strategies for paring down debt including limiting new purchases, reducing the number of credit cards you own, and implementing a plan to pay just a few dollars more each month on what you currently owe.
Amy Fontinelle at Fox Business realizes people have differing levels of motivation, persistence, risk tolerance, and job security. For example, if you’re afraid of being laid off from work, it might be smarter to build up your emergency fund rather than pay down your credit card debt. That’ll help you from going deeper into debt if you do lose your job.
High credit card debt can be debilitating for your personal and family life, but if you’re a budding entrepreneur like so many of our patrons at the Business Resource and Innovation Center (BRIC), it can stop your small business idea from even getting off the ground. According to our friends at the U.S. Small Business Administration in their blog post "5 Simple Questions to Help Determine Your Business Financing Options", banks want to know if loan applicants have "the proper skills to manage finances." The better your credit, the more confidence a lender will have that you can properly handle money.
And of course, the Free Library has a treasure trove of books you can borrow that can help lower your debts and improve your credit score. The librarians at the BRIC and at all of our neighborhood libraries are eager to help you find what you need, so please pay us a visit. If you need additional help in April, save the date for our Credit Check: Get Your Finances in Order program on April 25th, presented by Philadelphia Federal Credit Union.
Happy Credit Card Reduction Day! Why not celebrate by cutting up a credit card you don’t need and then treating yourself to a moderately priced dinner out that you pay for in cash?