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Holiday debt: Here comes Santa Claus' credit card bill

Now that the holiday season is over, many people are looking forward to what 2014 has in store. As people settle into their resolutions to visit the gym more often or find a new job, others are dealing with the holiday bills that are showing up. As such, many might be looking forward to debt relief in the new year.

During the holiday season, there are a number of extra expenses that come up. Between the costs of gift giving, traveling and entertaining, it's easy for families to become financially overwhelmed this time of year. In order to make the season bright, credit cards become a viable option for many consumers.

According to a recently released survey from the American Research Group, the average consumer spent $800 for Christmas this past year. To compound the problem, 63 percent of those surveyed didn't have any savings for Christmas gifts and other expenses. In turn, credit cards became a solution to make the purchases.

At other times during the year, it may have been possible to make minimum payments every month in order to stay on top of credit card debt. However, with the extra expenses associated with the holidays, those monthly payments might be pushed out of reach.

If credit card debt has become a major burden, it may be best to see what options are available. For some people, personal bankruptcy might be a solution. The important thing to remember, however, is that there are a wide variety of ways to take care of debt and individuals should determine the best path to take.

Source: KPAX.com, "Good Question: How to pay down your Christmas debt," Jan. 9, 2014

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