NORTH TEXAS - Whether you splurged on shopping during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales or you're waiting until the last minute to buy gifts for the holidays, a record number of you are spending large amounts this holiday season.
The National Retail Federation forecasts over $957 billion will be spent this holiday season.
But experts warn about the dangers of overspending and going beyond your means. Whether you're paying with card or cash, it can impact your bottom line.
CBS News Texas spoke with the experts at Experian, which is one of the three credit report scoring companies in the United States.
The company said during COVID, balances went down and credit scores went up. Now, that's reversing with people spending more and not necessarily paying off their balances, which will lower your credit score.
They urge you to pay bills on time and to keep credit card balances as low as possible.
Why is it important to have a good credit score?
Having a good credit score can affect your ability to buy a house, a car and lately renting a new apartment, sometimes to establish a new utility service or to get insurance.
The lower your score, the more risk that represents to these companies.
"The higher your credit scores are, the lower credit is going to cost as well—you get better terms, better rates, better interest rates and potentially using credit isn't always a bad thing during the holidays," said Rod Griffin, Senior Director of Consumer Education and Advocacy for Experian. "If you use credit, and you have an account that gives you discounts on purchases or cash back, that might be worth doing as long as you pay off that bill in full at the end of the month, that way you save money, you don't take on debt."
Griffin advises people to budget and not overspend, have a list and come up with a plan before you shop.
"If you see something you really like and you think it's perfect and it's not on the list maybe you shouldn't buy it," he added. "That will help you keep your balances lower, which is going to be really important. So it's about planning, it's about preparing and it's about being disciplined in the way you spend."
Experian just did a survey and found that 56% of people said they want to use cash this year to make their holiday purchases. 46% of consumers will use a debit card instead of a credit card to make purchases.
If you would like to check your credit score, by law it's free and will not hurt your credit.
One website you can go to is annualcreditreport.com.
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