Tips to avoid getting into credit card debt this holiday season

Many Tennessee residents like credit cards because they are more convenient than carrying around cash or a checkbook. They can also help raise your credit score and protect your purchases.

But credit cards also have a darker side. They can make you feel like you can afford stuff you actually can’t, thereby making it really easy to get in over your head with debt.

If you are a person who enjoys making purchases using a card but has a hard time not racking up debt, you might want to consider using a debt card or a prepaid credit card. That way you won’t be allowed to spend more than you have. 

However, if you decide to stick with a traditional credit card, keep the following FindLaw.com tips in mind in order to avoid staying out of debt.

Create a budget and stick to it. There is really no such thing as balancing your credit card, so it’s a good idea to make a separate budget in order to determine how much you can spend.

Only charge what you can afford to pay back. A good rule of thumb is that if you know you won’t be able to pay something off when your credit card statement is due, don’t buy it.

Avoid taking the cash advances. Cash advances not only charge a higher interest rate and transaction fees, there is also no grace period so even if you pay back the money by the end of the month you are still charged interest.

Pay your statements on time and in full. The best way to use a credit card is to pay off the balance amount on time and in full each month, which can increase your credit score.

Limit the number of credit cards you have. You need to be able to keep track of your purchases, balance and payment due dates, which is why most people should not have more than two credit cards.

If it is too late and you are already in over your head with credit card debt, you might want to speak with an experienced bankruptcy attorney in your area who can go over different types of debt relief that may be available to you, including bankruptcy and alternatives to bankruptcy.

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