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Columbia credit card debt: Smart purchases can avoid overspending

With the holidays just around the corner, many Columbia families who get into the spirit unwittingly find themselves in credit card debt. While it's not the only time people accrue debt, it is one of the times that people use credit cards to pay for their holiday shopping. In December of last year, the Federal Reserve Board reported that consumers had racked up $851 billion in credit card debt.

Those numbers are expected to creep up again this year. Consumers typically report that they use credit cards to purchase clothing and accessories more often than other items. While many people use debit cards to pay for those same items, their usage was at its lowest level from the past two years.

Although significant amounts of credit card debt is often best avoided, the holiday season may be one of the best times to use it because of all the perks that companies offer, especially when consumers make large purchases. Credit cards are best used when the balance can be immediately paid off, but some purchases may make using a credit card worthwhile. Credit card use can help when items are purchased online because the purchases are protected. If something arrives damaged or fails to arrive, the purchase can be disputed. The best way to avoid the trappings of credit card debt is to avoid using them, but it isn't always feasible.

Columbia families who shop smart can avoid the worst of it. But families who have already fallen into serious credit card debt may have options available to them, especially when debt collectors began to call. Credit card debt can be reorganized or even discharged for some consumers. Seeking out debt relief options like bankruptcy protection can help consumers get back on their feet and achieve a fresh financial start.

Source: Detroit Free Press, "Smart credit card use during holidays pays off," Hadley Malcolm and Jayne O'Donnell, Oct. 12, 2012

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Reed Law Firm, P.A.
220 Stoneridge Drive,
Suite 301

Columbia, SC 29210

Phone: 803-726-4888
Fax: 803-726-4887
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Florence, SC 29501

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