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Holiday credit card debt can hurt your credit score

During the holidays it can be hard to keep spending to a minimum. For Tennessee residents, the winter months can involve a lot of shopping for friends and family members and all of that shopping can result in large outstanding credit card bills. There are several ways that incurring credit card debt during December can affect a person's overall credit health come the New Year in January.

First, during the holidays some people choose to open new store credit cards. Venders often tie apparently money-saving deals to the opening of new credit-based cards and those incentives cause individuals to increase their credit capacities with new credit accounts. However, once charges on new cards are incurred, some individuals struggle to pay off their new debts in a timely manner.

Additionally, even those shoppers who are able to avoid opening new credit accounts are often negatively affected by running up high balances on their existing credit cards. Some financial experts suggest that individuals should keep their credit balances at or below 30 percent of their available credit, as exceeding this level can make them appear risky to lenders. The potential of an individual to fall into nonpayment on credit accounts can directly impact his credit score.

Finally, shoppers who do run up credit card bills during the holidays can do themselves a favor by tackling their debt in a timely fashion. Carrying debts on one's cards can jeopardize a person's overall credit health. For those who cannot overcome their spending burdens and who need assistance with debt relief, different legal options are available for addressing different financial challenges.

Overspending is not uncommon during the holidays. However, managing credit-based spending can be a challenge for many. People struggling with credit card debt may want to learn more about forms of debt relief..

Source: thestreet.com, "How Your Credit Score Can Diminish During Holiday Shopping," Ellen Chang, Dec. 8, 2015

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