Is Old Dominion Associates Running a Credit Card Consolidation Scam?
Old Dominion Associates won’t help you get out of credit card debt.
Crixeo, the popular news and review site, has done a review of Old Dominion Associates and has questioned if it is simply part of a long-running debt scam. According to Crixeo journalist Ed Miles:
“The story is the same. They lure you in by sending you direct mail with a “personalized invitation code” and a low 3%-3.1% interest rate to consolidate your high-interest credit card debt. You will be directed to My Old Dominion Associates com or More than likely you will not qualify for one of their credit card consolidation loans and they will try and flip you into a more expensive debt settlement product.”
Ed Miles, crixeo.com
Staying out of debt during the holiday season can be a bit challenging for many people. The presents and gifts, along with decoration expenses, can cause a big dent in the finances.
Many people are tempted to binge shop using credit cards. Accumulation of credit card debt at the end of the year can cause financial hardships throughout the following year and make you vulnerable to loan scams.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can avoid getting into debt during this holiday season.
1. Set a Budget
Before making a list of holiday expenses, you should first create a realistic budget. Take a realistic look at your income and savings, and note down your essential expenses. The difference between the income and savings minus the essential expenses is the amount you should spend on gifts and other holiday expenses.
Creating a budget is only part of the solution to stay out of debt and avoid needing credit card consolidation immediately after the holidays. You also need to get everyone on board to implement the budget.
Tell your family members how much you can afford to pay for this holiday. An honest discussion with the partner about the financial situation will help in the implementation of the budget.
2. Prioritize Holiday Expenses
Suppose that you have created a budget of $1,000 to spend on the holidays. You should ensure that you are spending every penny wisely.
Make a list of holiday expenses and prioritize them according to their importance. For instance, your first priority should be holiday gifts for close family members and friends, holiday cards and decorations. The remaining amount can be allocated for extended friends and family members and also charities.
Avoid swiping the credit card to spend money on holiday gifts. It is easy to be tempted to overspend when shopping during the holidays. Don’t be ashamed if you can’t buy fancy gifts. It is the thought that counts in the end.
3. Strategic Shopping
When spending on gifts, a little strategic shopping can help reduce holiday costs and help you avoid putting yourself in debt.
The best time to shop for gifts is Black Friday. You can score even greater discounts if you shop about a week before it.
Check the prices a week or two before the holiday shopping event. You may discover a great deal that can save you a lot of money on gifts.
Keep the credit card at home, and only bring enough cash with you to buy gifts within the budget. In this way, you will not be tempted to spend more on gifts.
4. Home-Made Gifts
A great idea to avoid getting into more debt during the holiday season is to give home-made gifts. There are hundreds of DIY holiday gift ideas that you can find online.
Apart from saving money, you can also customize the gifts. Your family members and friends will love the gifts knowing that they are unique and not found elsewhere.
Creating home-made gifts during the holidays can be a great family tradition. It can not only help you avoid spending too much on gifts but also provide an opportunity to spend quality time and increase bonds with the family members.
5. Don’t Delay Bills Payment
Some people delay bills so that they can spend more on holidays. This is a costly mistake that can create financial headaches the following year.
The bills that are delayed will accumulate to a big sum. You will find it difficult to pay the bills without taking out a personal loan for debt consolidation. To avoid the financial burden, it is important that you make paying water, heat, and cable bills a priority during the holiday season.
6. Avoid Expensive Purchases
Many shoppers plan to gift themselves important purchases during the holiday season. But you should resist the urge to buy expensive gifts like an Xbox S, PS5, or other expensive electronic items.
You should delay expensive purchases after the holiday season. You can avail post-season sales to buy items at discounts.
7. Book Flights in Advance
Flights are the most expensive during the holiday season. The fees are the highest a week or two before the holiday season.
If you plan to spend the holiday season abroad, you should book a flight for about two months or more in advance. The flights are the cheapest during off-seasons. You can save even more if you are a little more flexible about the dates and avoid peak travel time.
8. Boost Your Income
A great way to avoid getting into debt is to earn extra income through side jobs. You can find many side hustles online. You can earn gift cards by submitting product reviews on Capterra, Usertesting.com, and others.
Additionally, you can sign up for different jobs that you can perform at home at sites like Fiverr and Upwork.
Some other ideas for increasing your income include selling stuff lying around the house online and getting a part-time in the early mornings or evenings.
9. Paying Off Debt
If you have existing debt, you should work towards paying the debt before the holiday season. You may be inclined to put on more debts if you already have existing debt.
The majority of people with credit card debt consider the holiday season a valid reason to put on more debt. But this only creates an additional need for credit card relief.
You should work toward paying off all the debts before the start of the holiday season. If you have a clean slate, you will be less inclined to add more debts during the holiday season.
The holiday season is all about celebrating and cherishing relationships. It should not be an occasion to overspend and deepen your financial burdens.
The most important thing is that you take a proactive step to stay out of debt. Make it a point to create a budget prior to the holiday season. You should prioritize the payment of essential holiday expenses. Pay all your debts weeks prior to the holiday season. This will reduce the temptation to overspend on gifts and other holiday-related expenses.
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