Black Friday, the now-notorious start of the holiday shopping season, is only three days away. For those already struggling with credit card debt, kicking off another spending extravaganza is not exactly a happy occasion.
But there are steps you can take to protect yourself in both big and small ways. Legally, keep in mind that a bankruptcy filing is often a good way to resolve unmanageable debt – credit cards included – and move forward. For people in San Antonio in need of debt relief, this is important to know.
There is also, of course, the question of how to get through the Christmas season without seeming to your family like a Scrooge. In many ways, that isn’t easy to do. After all, the National Retail Federation estimates that Americans will spend upwards of $586 billion on gifts during the holidays this year.
This number is up over 4 percent from last year, despite an economy that is still struggling in many ways. Our point is that we understand the pressure to spend is there.
Still, you’ve got to be way of the traps that credit card companies are ready to spring, if they get chance. For example, a card company may mail you blank checks, inviting you to go out and spend. The problem is that such checks are considered cash advances, with interest rates in excess of 20 percent.
It’s also wise to avoid the invitation to open a new credit card just to get what seems like a good deal somewhere. The downside of taking on a new credit card probably outweighs the short-term benefit that applying for the card has on one particular transaction.
Source: “Five tips to steer clear of debt in holiday shopping,” Associated Press, Dave Carpenter, 11-14-12
Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our page on credit card bills.