Be careful when using credit cards during the holidays

With the holidays approaching, many individuals are trying to find a way to save up enough money to pay for gifts for family and friends. Any unexpected expenses at this time can ruin an entire year's worth of budgeting and planning. If this sort of thing happens, these individuals may have to turn to their credit cards to finance their holiday purchases.

Those who use credit cards need to exercise responsible spending habits to avoid being trapped in debt. Charges can quickly add up, and if the minimum balances are not paid off promptly, the high interest rates of most of these cards will only increase the financial burdens that these individuals are experiencing. In some cases, this may result in the person having to file for bankruptcy protection.

There are measures that individuals can take to prevent themselves from accumulating high credit card debt. Many stores will offer their customers an opportunity to apply for credit cards, and individuals should think twice before accepting these offers. While there may be small savings at the time of purchase, any remaining balance could result in interest charges that are much higher than the initial discounts.

Most shoppers will simply use credit cards that they already have when they are making their purchases. It is important that these individuals understand the terms of the cards they are using. People can sometimes be unaware of the penalties that will be imposed if they make a late payment, which may even include the increase of the interest rate, in some cases.

There are options if individuals are unable to make monthly payments. Some may decide to apply for new cards offering low rates on balance transfers. While this may seem like a good idea, it can lead to more problems in the future.

Filing for bankruptcy is another way that people may be able to eliminate credit card debt. Depending upon the person's financial situation, Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the most efficient way to address the problems that they are having. The bankruptcy can put an end to any collection actions, and can allow these individuals to emerge from the process in a more efficient position.

If you are having trouble making ends meet, it is important that you are able to discuss your options with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. An attorney will be able to explain the bankruptcy process to you, and then help you decide what is best for you and your family.

Many people are afraid of filing for bankruptcy, because they think that it will ruin their credit. However, filing often helps people regain control over their finances, and allows them to take positive steps toward overcoming their debt problems now and also in the future.