Shoppers cautioned to watch holiday debt
by Anthony Gonzalez
With only 11 days left until Christmas, holiday shopping is in in full gear. Many people are spending money they don’t have, says the National Retail Federation.
According to the consumer advocate, the average person will spend a little more than $700 on the holidays this year, between gifts and decorations. The Center for Responsible Lending says 52 percent of North Carolinians living paycheck to paycheck often don’t have discretionary money.
“Everyone should resist the temptation of overspending and assuming debt,” spokeswoman Kathleen Day told the Tribune.
The organization says it’s important to set a reasonable budget and stick to it, rather than run up your credit cards.
Day warns against opting for payday loans, which are against the law in North Carolina, but readily available online or from neighboring states.
“The rates charged by payday lending companies can be as high as 400 percent,” said Day.
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