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Credit card debt and the holidays go hand-in-hand

Most people enjoy the holiday season, but for some it can be a time of year when the desire to make family members and friends happy with the right gift can also lead to an increase in credit card debt. A recent article noted the connection between the holidays and credit card debt, and offered a few tips to avoid certain mistakes when shopping for gifts this season.

First, the article warned about the dangers of being susceptible to the so-called "no interest" rates that store credit cards usually offer. Our readers in Escondido are probably familiar with these deals - a retailer will offer a deal that says no interest will be charged for a certain period of time, usually six to 18 months, if consumers charge a certain minimum amount to their store credit card. However, as the recent article noted, these deals can actually be pretty bad for consumers if the entire balance isn't paid off within that zero-interest period. Why? Well, it is because at the end of that period of time the interest for the whole introductory period will be applied.

Beyond using store credit cards that a person might already have, the recent article also warned about applying for new store credit cards. Those zero-interest deals are the perfect way to draw in new credit card users, especially around the holidays. Next, the article warned about the dangers of failing to track spending. It is suggested that consumers set a certain amount that they plan to spend on gifts. Once that limit is reached, the shopping is over.

Everyone wants to enjoy the holiday season with family and friends. Taking on more debt than a person can reasonably expect to pay back may leave an Escondido resident facing significant financial challenges once the calendar rolls over to 2017.

Source: money.usnews.com, "6 Credit Card Blunders to Avoid This Holiday Season," Geoff Williams, Nov. 22, 2016

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