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Holiday Spending, Controlling the Urge to Splurge with Credi

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Holiday Spending, Controlling the Urge to Splurge with Credit Cards
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Associated Press

This holiday season a Mississippi financial analyst is advising credit card owners to think carefully before they pull out that plastic to pay for gifts. As MPB's Desare Frazier reports, the average Mississippian has nearly $8,000 in credit card debt.

Unemployment is low, people are working, the holidays are here, Mississippi Financial Analyst Nancy Lottridge Anderson says it may be tempting to splurge on gifts using credit cards. But she warns against overspending and racking-up debt.

"You don't need to live like there's no tomorrow when it comes to your credit cards because that's where people get into trouble. You could find yourself suddenly with you didn't get the raise you were counting on or you were laid-off," said Anderson.

Anderson urges people to live within a budget. If they do overspend, plan to pay the credit card off within four months. If that's not manageable, Anderson recommends paying at least the amount due and paying on time to prevent negatively effecting credit scores. She says credit scores are pulled for employment, renting an apartment, buying a home or car. Anderson says credit card debt with high limits can also raise the interest rates people pay--some as high as nearly 30 percent.

"The interest is so high that all they're doing with every payment is just staying even and they can never get out. Do you know that half the people out there with credit card debt say it's going to take them five years to pay it off," said Anderson

Anderson urges people to sit down with their family and discuss living within their means.