It's Your Money

Nov 16, 2010 7:41 PM by David Ortiviz

Counselors concerned about increasing credit card debt in Colorado

Tis the season for spending, but credit counselors are worried about consumers falling deeper into debt. Colorado now has the 2nd highest credit card debit in the U.S. according to the scoring website Credit Kkarma.

According to the website, in Colorado people have an average of $8,741 in credit card debt. "No it doesn't surprise me,"  said Sharon Gaskell, Branch Manager of Consumer Credit Counseling Service in Pueblo. CCCS helps people who can't control their spending.

On a financial road to recovery Gaskell says first develop a budget. "What do I have coming in? What do I need for living? And what do I have left over?" said Gaskell. She says use extra money to pay off credit card debt first. Unpaid debt will accumulate interest quickly and also lower your credit score.

"Something people need to look at for this holiday season spending is a want versus a need," said Gaskell. Tis the season for gadets and gizmos but to reduce your spending, Gaskell says consider making homemade gifts and don't buy for as many people. "Think back what are the things you most remember about Christmas growing up, was it really the gifts that you get?" said Gaskell.

Instead, she suggests, give the gift of time. "Going to the school play, singing carols together, the activities you do are the things that are important," said Gaskell.

Gaskell says it usually takes a year of frugal living for people to climb out of credit card debt.

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