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Credit card mistakes that you can avoid this holiday season

The holidays are here, and that comes with the stress of buying gifts, having guests over and generally celebrating the holidays. Holidays can be quite expensive, so it's common for people to pull out their credit cards to cover the difference. There are some mistakes you could make if you're not careful, and they are something you should look out for.

First, don't fall for deferred interest deals or store credit cards, especially if you don't have the money to pay them off before the interest rates kick in. These cards have high interest rates and can end up costing you 18, 20 or 25 percent or more in interest if you don't pay them off on time.

Another thing to avoid is failing to budget. Everyone wants to give gifts and to celebrate in style, but if your budget can't handle it, it's not worth the stress later. Figure out what you can afford to spend and stick with it; keep a list of your running expenses so you know when you're spent everything you put aside.

Finally, if you are carrying revolving debt, know that it is costing you more than your initial purchases would have in cash. If you can pay down that debt quickly, the interest may not add up to much, but is the extra money you're going to spend worth the debt you're accruing right now, or will it be too much?

If you've gone through the holidays and find that you're too far in debt, there are possible solutions. Your attorney can help you decide if bankruptcy, a debt repayment plan or other options are right for you.

Source: U.S. News & World Report, "6 Credit Card Blunders to Avoid This Holiday Season," Geoff Williams, accessed Dec. 13, 2016

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