Warning Signs for Holiday Credit Card Debt
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You might be an overspender when …

Looking for a gift that always fits and doesn’t require wrapping? How about a new year that’s free from lingering credit card debt?

For many, staying out of debt at this time of year is about as easy as losing 10 pounds. But it’s actually quite simple: Know how much you owe. Read your credit card statements. Keep a budget.

Most of all, know when it’s time to keep those credit cards at home.

Still unclear? Here are five signs you may need to cool it with the credit cards this holiday season.

You don’t have a budget

Don’t know how much you can afford to spend for the holidays? Put down that credit card and back away slowly.

A lot of people shop with an attitude of, “If I want it, I buy it,” says Mark Foster, director of education for Credit Counseling of Arkansas. “That’s a recipe for disaster.”

Instead, take a few minutes to figure out what you can safely spend this holiday season, from stamps to decorations to gifts. The amount may be smaller than you’d hoped, but so what?

Among “the people that we see who have the highest credit scores — 750 and above — we do see consistent behaviors in them that drive those scores,” says Anthony Sprauve, spokesman for myFICO.com, a division of credit scoring company FICO. Things such as “not overspen…………… continues on Fox Business

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Debt breakdown: Is being-debt free a realistic goal?
News from SheKnows.com:

We help you understand your debt profile in order to evaluate what balances are realistic and how to best manage large purchases like homes and college educations.

Few of us are debt-free. Depending on how much debt you have, it can loom over your life like a dark cloud. Many financial experts tout being debt-free as a surefire way to financial success but often this bit of advice is too idealistic. Our financial profile is largely based on our credit score, which is solely based on our debt profile. Being debt-free may not be realistic for many and, in many cases, it can actually hurt your financial well-being.

Be mostly debt-free with your credit cards

Not all debt is bad debt. Lenders are interested in your ability to repay — those with higher credit scores are more reliable in terms of the amount of debt they carry and the consistency with which they make repayments. Credit card debt is really the thorn in your side. Take a look at the ratio of your balance-to-limit ratio: This is the amount of debt you carry on a card divided by your total limit. Aim for 7 percent or lower combined and never more than 30 percent on a single card.

For example, let’s look at a fictional case:

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