Well, You Spent It, Now What?

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Knoxville (WVLT) - Another Christmas has come and gone, and for some people the only thing left is the bill.

You know, just giving someone your credit card during the holidays and walking out with merchandise makes it seem like you're getting something for free.

But for some of you watching the interest add up, you might wish that you had just paid with cash.

Holiday shopping brings people out to spend for Christmas.

"A little bit more than what I did last year," admits Michelle Rodriguez.

But just how many people out there use their credit card and take it to the max?

"Yes, I think we all have once or twice," says Cheryl Marino.

"I'm not going to pay it off all through the next year. That's not worth it. That's too much on people," says Gail Newsom.

That brings us to the all important question.

"There's a time to swipe and a time not to swipe," says Katy Jett from UT Federal Credit Union.

So if you swiped the magnetic strip off your card this year.

"You just now have to go into recovery mode. You have to actually look at your payments, pay them on time, don't get behind on them," says Jett.

Jett says with revolving credit you also have to realize Christmas also revolves, so you need to make sure you end your debt as soon as possible, but also plan for next Christmas.

"If you starting making some payments and put some money over in a side account like a Christmas Club Account or Separate Savings Account, start planning for next year," suggests Jett.

Jett says if you're trying to decide which credit card to use, the answer should be simple, "It's not a real good idea to have five or six credit cards out there. It's probably best just to have one credit card. Make all your payments to that one. Do all your charges on that one."

For some people, it's best to just pay for Christmas the old fashioned way.

"Credit cards are good for some things, but not for Christmas," Newsom says.

Jett says the most important thing is to keep your credit score good.

Plus, avoid cards which offer a percentage off when you use them because they usually have a higher interest rate.

And if you're thinking about hopping from card to card for zero percent interest for a certain time period, don't. Jett says that can negatively affect your credit score.