Make Debt Resolution Your New Year’s Resolution

The start of a new year marks a clean slate for setting, and achieving, future goals. However, with record-breaking credit card debt closing out 2023, many Americans find their slates a little less clean as they would like. Compounded by high interest rates and inflation, it may feel like there’s no way – or point – to making any New Year’s resolutions for 2024. 


That is, unless you decide to make debt resolution your New Year’s resolution. If you’re finally ready to stop living under the looming shadow of credit card debt, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s go over a few tips and methods you can implement to move your financial needle in the right direction in the New Year… and stay there. 

JGW New Years Debt Resolution

Visualize your journey 

In this blog, we'll break down the following tips that will help make 2024 the year you get back on financial track... 


Debt Resolution Infographic

Know where you stand 


As the popular Chinese proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and achieving debt resolution is no different. First things first: know where you stand financially.  

  • How much do you owe? 
  • What is your APR? 
  • When will you pay it off? 

These may sound pretty basic, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t have a clear understanding of their debt. Use our debt repayment calculator to crunch your numbers, or you can determine your monthly APR following these steps: 


  1. Find your current APR and balance in your credit card statement.  
  2. Divide your current APR by 12 or 365 to find your monthly or daily periodic rate.  
  3. Multiply that number with the amount of your current balance.  


Keep in mind that store / retail cards have the highest of the high interest rates. Ideally, the best way to borrow is to pay no interest at all, and you can do that if you’re able to get a 0% APR card. Of course, this only means you’ll pay no interest for a certain period of time (generally up to 21 months), so you may not have to pay interest charges on purchases made now until August 2025.  


That said, pay close attention to when that 0% interest period will end, because when it does, the rate will spike up to the national average — or higher — and as rates continue to rise, that could mean you’ll pay 25% in interest charges or more. 

Choose your plan of attack 

Once you have a clear picture of the state of your debt, the next step is to determine the best strategy to move forward. Since everyone’s financial situation is unique, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. The two main methods for getting out of debt are resolution and consolidation. 


Debt resolution 


Debt resolution programs can be an effective way to pay off your debt faster, and potentially for less than what you owe. When it comes to JG Wentworth, our Credit Card Debt Relief Program works a little something like this: 


  1. First, we determine if your debt qualifies 


  1. If it does, you pay one monthly program payment into an account that you control with an insured financial institution. 


  1. After you enroll and set aside funds, our team of skilled negotiators works with your creditors on your behalf to lower each enrolled debt (potentially by thousands of dollars). 


  1. We keep in touch every step of the way. Our 24/7 online portal allows you to check your progress at your convenience. 


On average, our clients get out of debt in as little as 24-48 months. According to a senior industry analyst at Bankrate, when you consider the current interest rates on credit cards, it can take over 200 months to pay off credit card debt if you don’t enroll into a relief program! 



Debt consolidation 


Juggling multiple debts with varying interest rates and payment schedules can be overwhelming. When you choose consolidation, you combine your debts into a single, more manageable payment. This streamlined approach simplifies your financial life, reducing stress and helping you regain control. When it comes to consolidating your debts, there are a few options to choose from… 


  • Consolidation loans are great if you’d like the stability of paying off your debts in equal installments over a set period. 


  • Balance transfers are ideal for people who want the flexibility of making payments of varying amounts for an indefinite amount of time while interest grows. 


  • Secured debts can be consolidated – by refinancing your home, for example – but this process is not always as straightforward as simply applying for new credit. Often, this type of consolidation requires consultation with an appraiser before a new loan can be negotiated. 


Not sure if debt consolidation is right for you? We can help you figure that out. Whether you choose debt resolution or consolidation to get out of debt, staying out of debt is a different ball game altogether…  



Stay winning 


Getting out of debt is just half the battle. The key to living a financially flexible life is to stay out of debt, and the only way to accomplish this is to make some lifestyle adjustments. Continuing the habits that led you into debt in the first place will only lead you back into debt. Something’s gotta give, whether that’s reducing the amount you spend or increasing the amount you earn. 


Here are a few other strategies for staying out of debt in the New Year and beyond… 


Budget your expenses 


Start by reviewing past months’ bills and make a list of your recurring expenses, ranked based on importance (true necessities, emergency fund, etc. at the top of the list). Then, determine your monthly take-home and eliminate any expenses that exceed that amount. After that, it’s just a matter of sticking to your plan and monitoring your performance. 


Automate your payments 


Adding automatic monthly bill pay to your credit cards and other recurring expenses will ensure you don’t forget any payments and offer some peace of mind (providing you have the funds to cover them). You can choose to pay the monthly minimum, the full amount due, or a customized amount. But keep in mind minimum payments won’t help you stay debt free. You’ll need to choose the “pay full balance” option in order to ensure you don’t rack up more debt again. 


Put the card away 


If the temptation of using credit is strong, consider transitioning to a cash-only lifestyle for a while. You can always cut up your card or lock it in a drawer somewhere. Taking your card out of the picture while keeping your account open is preferable to actually closing it because your account will continue reporting positive information to the major credit bureaus every month. 


This is YOUR year 

For over 30 years, JG Wentworth has been helping people just like you get out of debt and reclaim their financial flexibility. Over the last three decades, we’ve seen it all: recessions, inflation, and everything in-between. 


Whether you're looking to eliminate debt, invest in your future, or simply achieve greater financial stability, JG Wentworth's expertise and tailored solutions can be the catalyst for the change you’ve been looking for. 


If you’re committed to starting fresh, we’re committed to helping you. Contact us today to take the first step in your new financial journey…