According to a recent survey conducted by myFICO.com, almost half of respondents charge an average of $100-$500 more than usual on their credit cards during the holidays, which for some takes up to six months or more to pay off! Nearly 40 percent of these respondents also said that credit card debt was their biggest financial worry going into 2011, so learning to manage already fragile credit, make wise shopping decisions, and be aware of debt will be the key to enjoying a safe and happy holiday season.
Trends in credit card usage:
Maxin’ out: During the holidays, five percent of survey respondents say they spend 75 percent, or more, of their total credit limits.
Charge it!: Nearly 35 percent charge the majority of or ALL of their holiday purchases to their credit cards.
Cash or Credit?: Only 15 percent said they use cash to pay for holiday shopping — while an additional 35 percent stick to using their debit card, only spending what they have in their account at the time of purchase.
In 2009, nearly 40 percent of respondents said that credit card debt was their biggest financial worry going into 2010. This year, the same number said it continues to be their main concern for 2011. As many Americans still face financial challenges, protecting already fragile credit, making wise shopping decisions, and being aware of debt will be the key to enjoying a safe and happy holiday season.
Bah-hum-budget: More than half confessed they do nothing to prepare for the added bills during the holiday season.
Retail credit cards:
0% off now can mean points taken off your credit score later: Although most people do not apply for in-store credit cards, almost 10 percent are lured into obtaining new retail cards with upfront discounts.
Passing on new credit this holiday season?: 91 percent of respondents will NEVER open a new retail credit card during the holidays. Reasons include: You don’t want to ruin your credit, you don’t need more credit cards and/or you don’t shop all that often.
Tightening the holiday belt: 75 percent admit they will be changing holiday traditions this year due to the economy.