RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Record credit card debt and high-interest rates to pay off that debt is a double whammy for many shoppers now that we are in the holiday season. Due to inflation and the cost of everything, many are using credit cards to supplement their income.
When it comes to holiday shopping, make sure your list is in line with your budget.
Leslie Tayne a debt attorney says, " Now is the time to take a realistic look at not only the debt that you currently have going into the holiday season, but what the funds you have available." Tayne says shoppers need to be aware of the potential pitfalls of the offer of buy now, pay later. "There are lots of red flags. With that, it really can cause a consumer to go into overspending because you're not actually looking at the totality of the cost of the item. You're now looking at it in in a broken-up in pieces of what it will cost you per month," she adds.
If you have credit card debt and get offers to consolidate that debt or balance transfer, Tayne says reading the small print on those offers is key. She says, "It's actually an opportunity for the credit card companies to get you into a higher rate in the future by offering you a lower rate in the beginning. Remember, when you apply for that, it also is a ding on your credit."
If you are in debt, be very careful if you get debt collection letters and call. Don't just automatically pay. Verify you owe the debt and that who you pay will go towards the debt.