After that recent economic/financial disaster, many consumers were left with debts left and right. The reasons for being neck-deep in debt may vary but one thing's for sure: a lot of them are thinking twice about charging on their credit cards this holiday season.
There are indeed a lot of sales and discount/incentive offers from creditors, stores, and other institution to get the consumer to take out those plastic cards from their wallets and charge. The Chase Freedom and Discover More cards are luring consumers that have a new line of credit, with a $100 bonus-- if their purchases reached a certain amount, within three months. That, anda 5% cash back on holiday purchases in department stores. Citibank is doing the same for their Dividened members which is good only until December 31. Five percent seems to be the name of the game as Target is also giving a 5% discount in their store. Many other stores are giving away discounts and freebies just to get the consumer to charge.
But consumers should be wary of less than a hundred dollars cash backs, on a couple of thousands of dollars purchases--it's simply not worth it.
Creditors earn a lot from consumers who pay only the minimum or parts of what they owe each month. And then the consumers are left scratching their heads when they learn that they're only paying for the interest and penalties, and not the principal amount of debt. If you still have debts from previous years, you have to tell yourself to pay them all off first, before thinking about charging again. The best way to be debt free, aside from paying down the old debts little by little, is to stop adding new ones to them.
This holiday season, if it's possible to shop with only the money that you have (savings, debit account, or cash), then it's a good start to a debt free road.
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