Credit counseler: Be wary of using credit cards on Black Friday

Posted at: 11/15/2013 7:00 PM
Updated at: 11/15/2013 7:46 PM
By: Chalonda Roberts

This weekend many shoppers will probably be searching through ads and planning their strategies for Black Friday. But experts say shoppers should also plan their budgets.

News10NBC spoke with a financial expert who is urging shoppers to use caution this year.

Some people tend to be generous during the holidays, whether they have the money or not. Retailers often times lure shoppers by offering rock bottom prices on Black Friday. But before you know it those savings can leave a "black hole" in your finances!

If you're one of those shoppers, you might want to be more mindful of your money. some people shop as if their money or credit card is burning a hole in their pocket. Buying items on their Christmas list and sometimes because the deals are so good they may buy a few extra things for themselves.

For some that adrenaline rush quickly comes to an end when they head to the mailbox to find it full of credit card statements. We spoke with a credit counselor who says Black Friday can create a vicious cycle of overspending.

Lynette Baker, of Rochester Consumer Credit Counseling Services,  says, "If you don't pay it off within the first couple of months and you drag it out you're accumulating all those interests and even late fees. If you're making late payments and sometimes that drags out to the next year and now you're adding to that debt again for holiday spending."

Shopper Jenny Sanzo tells us, "I have a huge Italian family with lots of people to shop for, so keeping a budget is definitely important. I am not a crafter. I see all the cute ideas on Pinterest, but I buy my gifts."

We also asked her how she planned to pay for her shopping this year. Sanzo says, "Credit, but I pay my bill every month. So, I get one percent back on my credit cards. That's why I use it for shopping."

That is exactly what credit counselors recommend! Especially if you already have debt.  They say sometimes people look at credit cards as free money until they get that statement. But again, if you can't pay your credit cards off within a couple of months it can lead to paying interest on top of interest. Sometimes you incur late fees which can lead to facing those pesky collections agencies.

So best advice to avoid accumlating debt. Pay cash or pass up the deal!