The National Foundation for Credit Counseling has compiled a list of 10 things to keep in mind this holiday season.
Credit card debt can really take its toll on families and their quality of life. That negative toll does not ease up around the holidays – a time focused on gift-giving. Overspending is a frequent act around Christmas time and with that can come devastation.
Here are the 10 things that you need to know –
- You lose your grace period as credit card debt rolls over from one month to another. After that grace period, interest immediately begins to build on, even on new purchases. This means you should consider not using your credit cards for those new purchases.
- When you’re earning compound interest on savings, that is a good thing. When you’re paying compound interest on debt, that is a bad thing. Avoid paying the compound interest by not carrying debt.
- Late payments can cause a $25 fee on top of increased interest. Late and over-limit fees can cancel out any savings gained on Black Friday deals – even the biggest ones.
- When you spend all of your credit on holiday spending, you risk not having any credit left over in case of an emergency. Emergencies are never planned so you need to make sure you have money ready for them when they happen.
- You may have full intentions of paying your credit card bill in full and on time, but unforeseen things happen. Just be warned that any late or missed payment will put a negative mark on your credit report and it will stay there for seven years. This could also cause your credit score to drop as much as 100 points.
- Credit mishaps could have serious consequences. Employers and insurers check your credit and bad credit could result in being turned down for a job, charged more for insurance, denied an apartment and more.
- The more money you’re spending on debt and interest payments, the less you have for savings and investments.
- As mentioned before, credit card debt can impact your quality of life. Money problems are among the leading causes of stress and divorce.
- Debt can increase to uncontrollable levels and lead to dangerous choices such as payday loans and pawn shops.
- The best gift you can give your family is health and happiness. Stable finances can go a long way toward ensuring both.
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