Virtuity – How to avoid the Holiday Debt Trap

It is no secret the holiday season is the time of the year where people accumulate the most debt.  According to a survey conducted by MagnifyMoney, Americans will kick off the New Year with an average of $1,003 worth of new debt. That is an increase from $986 in 2015. The number of consumers who turned to payday loans also increased from 6% in 2015 to 7.1% in 2016 and expected to be higher in 2017.

According to the same survey, Millennial’s are more at risk of going into debt.  Among other age groups, people between the ages of 24-35 admitted going into debt during the
holiday season. On a brighter note store credit cards have fallen dramatically from 30% in 2015 to 17.1% in 2016. This is great news because store credits cards often come with the highest interest rates; usually the highest in the market.

Tips on how to avoid getting into debt:
1)    Create a budget: This is the most basic step and probably the easiest yet it’s repeatedly forgotten. Be aware of what you can actually spend and stick to it.

2)    Rethink your gift list: When you include extended family, friends, colleagues, service workers, school teachers etc… the dollar amount can quickly add up. We recommend prioritizing the gifts on your list. Remember you don’t have to break the bank to show appreciation.

3)    Keep track of your spending: This will hold you accountable and keep you in line with your budget.

4)    Review your credit report: It’s important you know where your finances stand before you spend blindly. You can obtain your free credit report from

5)    Review and understand your score: If possible, review all three (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian) and put together a plan that will keep it from being dramatically
impacted during the holidays. This will be good for your credit and your wallet.

6)   Avoid turning to payday and title loan lenders: This is a very costly option that will have a negative impact on your finances in the long run.

If you need assistance reviewing your finances and setting up a plan feel free to meet with one of our Virtuity representatives for a complimentary analysis.

Collaboration by Marisol Turcios and Gillian Giorgio

Contact Gillian at

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