As the holidays approach, there are many ways consumers can prepare for shopping. Before hitting the malls, beware of debt regret, don't forget buying options such as layaway and make sure you call your credit card company to find out what warranties you
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Connie Prater: The holiday season is here again and there are many ways to give. But before heading to the malls, shoppers should be prepared.
I’m Connie Prater, Senior Writer at CreditCards.com
Gail Cunningham, national spokeswoman for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, gives us advice on things to watch out for during this holiday season. The first thing: Debt regret.
Gail Cunningham: In an ideal world, we would not charge more than we could pay when the bill arrives, and in a worst-case situation, don’t charge more than you can repay within three months. I have seen lots of Januarys where people’s “Ho ho ho,” turned into “Oh oh oh.”
CR: As the economy worsens, and credit tightens, layaway is an option many families are turning to this year.
GH:Layaway is really the antithesis of credit; you see something you want, you go into a store, you put a little bit of money down, the store puts it back, you make payments and increments over time, and when you own it, then you bring it home.
CP: You may already be protected and not know it. Many credit card companies offer extended warranties and protection programs on items purchased with credit card.
GH: This is an ideal time for any consumer to call the bank, the issuer of the credit card, and inquire what protections come with that card. They may not even be aware that they have certain warranties and protection.
CR: Keep those important tips in mind before you go shopping this year.
For CreditCards.com, I’m Connie Prater, Senior Writer.
For more news and advice, go to CreditCards.com/News
As the holidays approach, there are many ways consumers can prepare for shopping. Before hitting the malls, beware of debt regret, don’t forget buying options such as layaway and make sure you call your credit card company to find out what warranties you may already have.