WESLACO, Texas (ValleyCentral) — This holiday season, beware of both scams and bad budgeting decisions, experts say.
The majority of Americans love to shop, but it is even more important to know how to budget properly.
According to MoneyGeek.com, Americans put over 65% of their holiday spending on a credit card and won’t finish paying it off for at least 3 months.
However, not all credit cards are the same and most have different terms and conditions. Credit scores play a huge part in the interest rate paid on a credit card. Low credit scores almost always mean higher interest rates which means the cardholder will pay even more when paying off their debt.
“To get an idea what your credit score is like, but before applying for any kind of credit card, we highly recommend going directly to your bank, if it’s a credit card that you’re interested in, maybe going directly to your bank and the banks do offer credit cards, go that route,” said Hilda Martinez, President of the Best Business Bureau.
Financial experts say always do the research when considering a credit card to find the card that best suits you.
Whether it is with emails or phone calls, scammers are getting smarter about copying businesses and information to make you trust them so they can steal your information.
With the holidays underway, those calls are getting more common. According to Comparitech.com, over 59 million Americans lost money from a phone scam last year. On average, people receive 18 spam calls per month. If you get a call from someone claiming to be with a bank or government agency and you have your suspicions just hang up.
“Because they’re going to ask you, ‘okay, give me your name. Give me your address, and give me your social security number’. Sometimes even ask for your driver’s license number. So be very careful with all that kind of information. Don’t give it out freely to somebody you don’t know at the other end,” added Martinez.
Experts say the safest way to avoid getting scammed is by calling the bank or government agency directly and verifying the call.