5 New Ways to Pay off Holiday Debt

Did you go overboard on holiday spending this year? January debt is an old problem, but did you know there are many new ways to deal with it? To help bring your credit cards back down to their pre-holiday condition, try some of these ideas for paying off that debt.

1. Did any of your gadgets get upgraded?

Cell phones, mp3 players and tablets are popular holiday gifts, and this past year saw a number of significant updates. Instead of just stashing your old gadget in a drawer somewhere, you can see it and use the proceeds to pay down your debt.

Several websites are dedicated to helping you unload your old gadgets. Gazelle.com allows you to look up the item you want to sell and gives you a quote. You can then mail in your gadget — Gazelle.com even pays for the shipping — and you’ll get your money in about a week. Cellforcash.com is a similar service for cell phones only.

2. Check out consignment shops.

Do a search for consignment shops in your area, and you might be surprised what you find. Using consignment shops is an old idea, but the web has made it much easier to squeeze extra cash out of this resource. You usually have the option of trading in your items for cash or credit. You could sell gold necklaces, flatware and anything else of value for cash, but you won’t know until you check the store’s website to make sure that cash is an option before you consign.

3. Do you have a whole folder on your computer full of holiday photos?

If you have any skill at all, you can sell your photos online. Many bloggers and other online writers need photos for their websites and are willing to pay for them. Some sites to check out include fotolia, picturenation and 123RF. If you are good with a camera, you might be able to pull in some extra cash year-round with these sites.

4. You can’t pay off your holiday bills with gift cards, but you could turn them into cash.

While you won’t get the full face value of the card, you can get up to 60 percent back as cash. Some of the sites to visit to cash in gift cards are Plasticjungle.com or Swapagift.com.

5. EBay still rocks.

Go through your home and look for things in good condition that you don’t mind parting with. EBay is safe, secure and easy to use. You will be paying a small fee to sell items through the site, but you’ll make more money than you pay.

6. Did you go somewhere exotic over your holiday?

If you brought back any interesting souvenirs or collectibles, you can sell these to help pay for the cost of the vacation. You’ll need to do a little research to make this one work, but it could pay off in a big way. Look up the items you brought back to find out if they have value. You will also need to research customs laws to make sure it’s okay for you to sell them. Then hop on eBay or Craigslist to see what you can get for them.

You don’t have to live with a mountain of holiday debt. Just because you lost a little control during the holidays doesn’t mean you can’t get it back right after!

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