Credit Expert: Don't let last week of Christmas shopping lead to impulse buying and debt

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio - The holiday music, the Christmas decorations, the pressure,

"You don't want to be paying for this holiday season, next holiday season," said Jay Seaton with Aprrisen Credit Card Counseling in Rocky River.

Seaton said between now and Christmas is when many shoppers fall into the credit card debt trap. 

"Because what happens in the last few days is a tendency to just impulse purchase," Seaton said.

Here are three key tips from Seaton, and you know number one,

Know how much cash you can really afford to spend, and if you use a credit card, know how long it will take you to pay it off.

Number two, you don't have to go broke paying more than the minimum payment each month to pay off your credit cards quicker.

"20 bucks, 50 dollars, whatever you can afford more than the minimum cuts to the principal," said Seaton.

Third, if you don't avoid those zero-percent-interest, no-payment-for-x-number-of-years offers, at least make sure you know the terms.

Miss a day, pay a lot!

"Because if you go a day or two or week over the limit of the terms, then you're responsible for all that back interest," Seaton said.

If you're struggling with credit card debt, Apprisen is a non-profit agency that might be able to help.

You can give them a call during business hours at 1-800-355-2227 or log onto to their website .

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