A Black Hills credit counseling service advises against holiday loans

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Sunday
Published: Dec. 4, 2022 at 3:05 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Christmas is weeks away, and with that brings a numerous amount of store receipts. But for some, it could also bring a loan that could last a lifetime.

The holiday hangover is real. According to moneygeek.com, 25% of Americans regret their holiday spending coming out of the season. Financial experts warn against taking out holiday loans for gift spending.

“You want to take debt on for things that are going to increase in value not something you are going to have to pay in two, three, or four months. The other thing you don’t want is the holiday hangover, paying for this Christmas all next year,” said Consumer Credit Counseling Services Executive Director Bonnie Spain.

Spain adds one way to plan your budget is to think back at some of the gifts you’ve previously bought for people.

“In other words, what do you remember from the last ten years of everybody that you’ve bought gifts for? Do they remember what you gave them? Is it worth going into debt if they are not going to remember these items?” said Spain.

Another thing to watch out for at the stores would be the charge card specials. Those could not only leave you in more debt but also potentially lower your credit score.

“But if you open too many charge cards in a short period of time it will lower your credit score and if your goal is to build your credit score, then you want to be careful of doing that,” said Spain.

Some ways to help keep your spending in check would be to remain mindful of how many people you will be buying gifts for and to make sure you don’t surpass your budget early in the shopping season. Spain also says that using cash could help save you money.

“It’s going to keep you within your budget, you’re not going to have a holiday hangover. So, pay with cash, pay what you can, and remember it’s the thought that matters for the people that you’re going to give to,” said Spain. “It’s not what you’re giving them it’s the thought that matters.”

Overall, Spain added you don’t have to go into debt, but rather make the holiday season one for remembering rather than spending.