"Charge it Please"

By: Lori Mitchell
By: Lori Mitchell

Before you head out on your holiday shopping spree, financial experts say it may be a good idea to cut the plastic. Not only have interest rates increased again, but many credit cards are doubling the minimum payments.

"Think of credit cards as a short-term financing instrument, meaning that if there's money put on the credit card, see how quickly the debt can be paid off."

BB&T Area Executive Rick Wilson suggests paying off smaller credit cards first, then try to tackle the larger ones next.

Increasing interest rates are creating higher payments for nearly half the American households that carry a credit card balance. Last year the average rate was around 12%, compared to nearly 15% this year.

While it may be too late to ask most shoppers to forget credit cards this holiday shopping season, it isn't too early to prepare for next Christmas.

"January is a good time to start thinking about next year. You'll be operating off of cash at that time and not credit."

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