Fighting Holiday Credit Card Debt

Financial experts say many East Texans want to have a properous New Year, but financial debt they've accumulated from credit cards over the holidays is keep them from doing so.

Credit card debt is a huge problem for many people all year long. But financial advisors see in an increase in clients who need help with credit card debt every January. Many holiday shoppers get so caught up in sales and the Christmas spirit that they rarely stop to think how much they're actually spending. Statistics show that many of those who get in holiday debt are younger shoppers.

"Young people view it as free money to a certain extent. They don't have to see that bill. Maybe that bill is still going home to mom and dad. There are a lot of free incentives to sign up for a credit card," Chris Moss, Vice President of the Advanced Financial Group in Lufkin.

Lufkin shopper Wayne Philpott saiad, "Age takes care of a lot of that I think. The older you get the more concsious and aware you are of what you do have and don't have."

But credit card debt isn't limited to just one age group.

"That's not to say that I don't see a lot of older folks with credit card debt as well, but it's simply a matter of discipline and knowing when and how to use that credit card," said Moss.

Part of that discipline is using your credit cared only when necessary. Experts also recommended using cash or a debit card instead.

"If I were going to sum up the use of a credit card, I'd say you've got to have discipline. Disciple from the standpoint that if you're going to use it, use it only to the point where you can pay it off every month," Moss told us.

For those who are trying to get out of holiday credit card debt, the most important thing to do is budget. It's also a good idea to pay as much as you can on your monthly bill. Paying the minimum each month only means you'll pay more money over a longer period. It's also a good idea to put money aside for Christmas shopping throughout the year.