Ways To Pay Down Your Holiday Debt

Have you overindulged over the holiday period? It’s hard to start the year when you have post-holiday debt to deal with.

It’s time to get back into your normal spending routine after spending more on events and parties during the holidays. Take control of your finances now before it snowballs into a debt crisis all year long.

Here are some ways to help you pay down your holiday debt.


“Create a budget and stick to it” — is one of the fundamental steps that should be taken when cleaning up your finances.

Figure out how much is coming in (income), going out (spending), and surplus each month to put towards paying off your debts.

Write everything out and make a list of all of your payments and bills — from rent to loan. Segregate your fixed expenses (rent or insurance) from your variable expenses (utilities or entertainment). Obviously, there’s room to cut costs from your variable expenses.

To make budgeting easier and accessible, try one of the many budgeting apps available like Goodbudget or Wally.

Change your habits

Now, it’s time to put that budget into action. Making favourable changes in your money habits is the cure to your holiday debt hangover.

You can still enjoy your regular perks like coffee or dinner with friends, but it’s better to try and change some of your habits. Instead of going out for dinner 2x a week, set aside the money you would’ve spent on the second night to pay off your debt.

Some changes to your habits can build up into a large amount of savings.

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Debt consolidation

When it comes to paying off your debt, especially multiple debts, you have the option to consolidate them all into one loan.

With debt consolidation loan, you only have one loan to worry about. This can speed up paying off the principal, which makes dealing with the balance faster.

Debt consolidation can improve your credit score and there’s a tax break too.

Automate your debt payoff

When you already know the amount you need to pay each month for your goal, you can set up automatic payments with your bank to transfer money whenever you get paid. It’s best to transfer these funds immediately so you won’t get tempted to spend it.

Furthermore, you won’t have to worry about missing payments, which can hurt your credit score. You can also let the automatically reduced balance motivate you to keep saving.

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Disclaimer: Please be aware that Cigno Loans’ articles do not replace advice from an accountant or financial advisor. All information provided is intended to be used as a guide only, as it does not take into account your personal financial situation or needs. If you require assistance, it is recommended that you consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.


Ordered by the Federal Court of Australia

The Federal Court of Australia has found that Cigno Australia Pty Ltd (Cigno Australia) and BSF Solutions Pty Ltd (BSF Solutions) have breached the law by engaging in unlicensed credit activity and charging prohibited fees.

In the period from July 2022 to 3 October 2023, over 100,000 consumers have been lent a total of $34 million, and charged fees of over $70 million, under the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’ operated by BSF Solutions and Cigno Australia. At no time has either BSF Solutions or Cigno Australia held an Australian Credit Licence.

The Court also found that Mark Swanepoel (director of Cigno Australia) and Brenton James Harrison (director of BSF Solutions) were involved in these breaches of the law.

With effect from 24 May 2024, the Court has granted permanent injunctions preventing Cigno Australia and BSF Solutions from:

  • demanding, receiving or accepting fees or charges, including amounts of loan principal, from consumers in relation to credit provided under the ‘No Upfront Charge Model’; and
  • engaging in further credit activity pursuant to the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’, including by entering into new agreements with consumers, for so long as they do not hold an Australian Credit Licence.

Cigno Australia was ordered by the Court to, by 5th July 2024, send written communications to consumers who between July 2022 and December 2022 entered into agreements with Cigno Australia and BSF Solutions under the ‘No Upfront Charge Loan Model’.

The Court will later determine whether (among other things) Cigno Australia and Mark Swanepoel ought to pay a pecuniary penalty in respect of this conduct, and whether Mark Swanepoel should be restrained from carrying on a business engaging in credit activity.

Cigno Australia, BSF Solutions, Mr Swanepoel and Mr Harrison intend to appeal the decision of the Court and have filed an application for leave to appeal. If the appeal is successful, some or all of the orders of the Federal Court of Australia may be set aside.

Where can you get more information?

Where to go for further support

You can access legal advice in your state at: Free legal advice – Moneysmart.gov.au.

If you are experiencing trouble with debt, or money worries in general, contact:

  • the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 or online chat (9:30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday).

If you need someone to talk to, contact:

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14 (24 hours) or their crisis support online chat or
  • Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36 (24 hours) or their webchat