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Last Year’s Debt Impedes on 2010 Holiday Shopping

The cycle of debt is expected to continue as millions of Americans enter the holiday shopping season while still paying off those presents purchased during the 2009 season.

According to Consumer Reports’ Holiday Shopping Poll, 13.6 million Americans reported spending a bit too much in 2009, and still paying it off now. Couple that number with the National Retail Federation’s estimation that people will spend 2.3 percent more during this holiday season, and more and more might end up finding themselves looking into credit card debt consolidation options.

According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend $447 billion on holiday shopping, with the average person spending $689 as compared to $682 in 2009.

However, even though studies show that the average personal spending is expected to increase, many are saying this year’s purchases will be made in cash, instead of debit or credit cards.

In the past, according to Consumer Reports, those who decided to use cash spent less than those who simply swiped a card, with the paper users spending 10 percent less than the plastic users.

In addition, many shoppers who are already carrying around debt from last year are saying he and she will be spending less all around. Specifically, 61.7 percent of those who reported still having 2009 holiday debt said this year’s holiday shopping will not be as big as last year, with 81 percent spending less, 40.6 percent deciding to clip coupons before heading out and another 31.5 percent deciding last year’s holiday decorations will have to do because he or she will not be buying new ones for this year.

Consolidating debt, whether it comes from loans, credit cards or a combination of both, is both possible and tricky. An experienced attorney can advise people on what options are available that would be the best fit for a person’s unique situation.

Source: The Street, “Holiday Debt From Last Year Haunts Consumers,” Jason Notte, 1 Nov 2010

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