Christian Credit Counselors Offers Top 5 Tips for Preventing Holiday Debt

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Christian Credit Counselors, a non-profit consumer credit counseling company, today announced their top 5 tips for staying out of debt during the holidays.

Christian Credit Counselors is a non-profit organization that has helped over 300,000 people get out of debt over the past 20 years. They offer free resources for consumers to use to increase their financial literacy as well as credit counseling to help those who have found themselves in more debt than they can handle on their own.

“The majority of people we help are already in debt and need some assistance and a little bit of hope to help them out of their current situation,” Mark Peterson, Christian Credit Counselors’ marketing director, said. “Once we help someone on the path to becoming debt free, it is important to teach them how to prevent debt so that they don’t need to use our services again in the future.”

People rack up the most credit card debt during the holiday season and on top of that, most people wait until the last minute to get their shopping done, causing them to pay more for their purchases without a definite plan for their spending. However, with a little bit of planning, everyone can avoid sinking into debt this holiday season.

Here are Christian Credit Counselors’ holiday gifting tips for 2011:

1. Create a budget. Before you even make a list of people you have to buy gifts for, creating a spending plan will help from overspending. Stick to your budget; you will be thankful that you did come the new year.

2. Make a list. Put together a complete list of people you need to buy a gift for and don’t add to it while you are shopping. Resist the urge to splurge on your friends and family; a well thought out gift will be more of a hit than an expensive one.

3. Shop online first. Now that you have a list, go online and see if you can find the gifts you need there first and don’t pay for shipping if you don’t need to. Try to find as many items at the same online store so that you can take advantage of larger purchase deals (spend $50 and get $10 off).

4. Avoid using credit cards. It will be tempting to use or open new retail credit cards in order to get the “10% off your purchase if you use you Macy’s card”, but remember, you might end up paying more than the original price once you add the interest you will be paying once you get your statement. If you must use a credit card, pick just one and pay the entire balance once you get your statement. Otherwise, this holiday could be costing you well into the new year.

5. Don’t buy if you can’t pay now. By using a credit card instead of debit or cash, you are borrowing from your future income. Yes, you might not see the consequence of your actions until 2012, but after all the holiday cheer has worn off, you will be stuck with a credit card bill racked up with interest.

About Christian Credit Counselors:
Christian Credit Counselors is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that was created in order to help individuals and families regain control of their finances through the use of educational tools, credit counseling and other resources. Christian Credit Counselors is headquartered in Carlsbad, CA. For more information, call toll free 800.557.1985 or visit http://christiancreditcounselors.org.

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Samantha Rios
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