How Store Credit Cards Can Hurt Your Finances

It takes more than a budget to shop smart this holiday season - it takes open eyes.

Stores everywhere are offering discounts for opening credit card accounts. For instance, they'll knock 15% off your purchases when you sign up. At first glance, it seems like a bargain. Hey, you've got to buy gifts anyway - why not get them for cheap? But look a little deeper and you'll see it's less of a deal and more of a scam.

Store cards are notorious for having high annual interest rates - sometimes 30% or more - and very low minimum payments. With that combination, your bill payments are mostly covering interest rather than your principal. Without paying down your original purchase, you'll be obligated to keep paying interest year after year. Do you really want to spend decades paying for this year's shopping spree? And that's not all. Every time you apply for and/or open a new account, your credit rating is negatively affected. The more cards you have, the worse for your score. Closing them doesn't help - you'll get dinged for that, too.

Rather than fall for a store's gimmick, why not get a real bargain?

Instead of credit, try to use cash or debit. You'll avoid new debt and save so much in interest that you won't need a store discount. It will also be a lot easier to track your spending and stick to a budget. Better yet, why not consider eliminating your existing debts with a bankruptcy plan? You'll also be eliminating years of interest payments.

Maybe you don't want to think about your debt burden with the holidays approaching. Maybe you'd rather avoid the subject altogether. But I guarantee that your debt will only get bigger and more difficult to deal with as time goes on. Why keep living with that kind of stress? When you sign up for our free one-on-on debt analysis, our Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys will identify a bankruptcy plan suited to your individual situation and answer any questions you have about the process. Imagine: no more nights spent tossing and turning, worrying how you'll make the bills or the mortgage. Just financial freedom. Now that sounds like a good deal.

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