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Experts Offer Tips On How To Avoid The Ghost Of Credit Card Debt

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All it takes is a couple of credit cards and some stores to get you into a lot of trouble.

We are constantly told the holiday season is all about giving. But the more you give, the more you spend.

"I shop for my great grandson, my three children, and my grandchildren," said Sue Neubauer, shopper.

In order to shop, you need to have money. When you don't have it right away, that's where credit cards come in handy.

"Really a credit card is like a credit line. You're granted a limit that you can spend. If you're not up to your credit, you're like 'well, we still got money. We will just spend it and worry about it in January'," said Bill Quinn, Cava & Banko.

For some people, its too late. Christmas is hours away, your shopping is complete, and your credit card statement is showing a pretty hefty number.

"I think of it like gaining weight. You sort of gain a pound or two here and there over a long period of time. Suddenly you wake up and say 'boy I'm really overweight'. That's what happens with people are their credit cards," Quinn said.

Experts said if your statement is high, a plan of action needs to be figured out immediately. Do not allow yourself to use the credit card for any other non-essential reasons.

"The first thing you have to do is push yourself on a cash basis where you say 'I have to put a stop to this so from this point forward I'm just going to have to limit my purchases to what I can pay for in cash'. You still have this credit card balance hanging out there but its not getting any worse," Quinn said.

Experts said the best way to get out of debt is to stick to a strict budget.

"People need to be disciplined and looking at how they are going to do that. If its going to take them a year to pay off their credit card debt, and for a lot of people it could easily take them a year, they really need to do it," Quinn said.

For additional tips on how to get out of credit card debt, click on the link.