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Black Friday scary prospect for those in credit card debt

What started as a fun family tradition of going shopping on that extra day off after the Thanksgiving holiday has become an all out shopping extravaganza. Some may still love Black Friday for the deals people can get in the check out lines, while others have grown less enthusiastic or even disdainful about this unofficial American holiday.

Still, two out of three people, assuming they shop at all, plan to be in the stores on Black Friday. The problem though is that on Black Friday, and during the four our so weeks afterward, many people in southeastern Tennessee and other parts of the country bite off more than they can chew. Some studies estimate as many as 40 percent of households spend more than they should on their Christmas gifts.

Interestingly, the same study suggested that people who are actually out looking for the great Black Friday sales are actually more prone to overspend. It is possible that people may have done so thinking they were actually saving money when in fact they were not.

Another scary statistic for Black Friday shoppers as that one in four of them will not have their Christmas gifts and shopping paid off for three months, that is, until some time in March 2018. These aren't just people who have trouble paying off their debts habitually; even those who have decent credit scores also seem to fall behind in their credit card debt payments during this time of the year.

While getting a little behind on the credit card balance is not exactly something to go into crisis mode over, unresolved holiday debt can become a real problem if coupled with something like a job loss, divorce or sudden medical expense. In these sorts of cases, bankruptcy may be a Tennessee family's best option.

Source: The Motley Fool, "4 stats that will make you hate Black Friday," Chris Neiger, Nov. 18, 2017

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