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Holiday Shopping Could Lead to Debt Consolidation Plans

Most industry experts agree: it's the days from Thanksgiving until the end of December that most people do the most holiday shopping.

Between Black Friday sales, online Cyber Monday deals and holiday discounts, consumers can end up signing up for and using multiple credit cards - thinking this is the way to save - and then find themselves needing to consolidate the debt on all those credit cards.

And while many think of Black Friday and Cyber Monday as the two biggest shopping days, Richard Feinberg, who is a retail management professor at Purdue University, said the busiest shopping day isn't even here yet. According his findings, it is actually the weekend before Christmas - Dec. 18 and 19- when retailers will see the highest number of sales.

But, this doesn't mean that people haven't already started to accrue debt. According to the National Retail Federation, this year saw an increase over last in terms of the number of people coming out for Black Friday. It's estimated that more than $45 billion was spent on the Friday after Thanksgiving, with more than 212 million consumers actually out shopping. In 2009 there were only 195 million out shopping for the super deal day.

Cyber Monday also hit a high this year with 106 million shoppers going online and buying, while last year only 96 million consumers logged on for the deals. And, while sources are saying this does show an increase in the number of people shopping online, the real temptation normally hits when a consumer is shopping in person and actually sees a large ticket item.

According to sources, to try and not end up with unnecessary debt, a person should look at his or her "debt-to-income ratio" before buying large items. If the payments would be higher than 40 percent of a person's gross income, he or she should just resist and walk away.

While this tip is helpful, many might still find themselves in debt after the holidays. With temptation right there, and the hope that the New Year will bring a person out of debt, decisions can be made that may result in the need to consolidate. If a shopper finds themselves needing to consolidate, an experienced attorney can help someone weigh options and find out what would work best for the consumer.

Source: WLFI, "Holiday shopping turn-out already high," Aaron Leedy, 1 Dec 2010

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