Credit or cash? How you can shop smart this holiday season

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's the biggest shopping day of the year and for some, that means serious spending, but is taking advantage of all those deals good for your wallet?

"Black Friday's the day to shop, definitely," said shopper Cindy Parris. "The sales are better and the prices are good."

Some of the lowest prices of the season attract a whole lot of shoppers.

"You see it, you like it, you better buy it," explained Parris, "because it's not going to be there forever, so it kind of makes shopping easier. It's like I'm going to grab it and I'm going to leave and I'm not going think twice about it."

But is taking advantage of those deals really better for you?

"You have probably the best sales of the year, but you have to be as a consumer aware of your budget, aware of your credit, and how those credit cards can affect your credit in the future," said Mortgage Advisor Elias Delgado.

Here's what you should do.

"You want to use 30-40% percent of your available balance on each your credit cards, so your credit scores not effected in that regard," continued Delgado.

If you overspend on that charge card you risk lowering your credit score and if you're thinking of making some big purchases in the new year that could have some serious consequences.

"Life is more expensive with a lower credit score," said Delgado. "Your interest rates are going to be more expensive on a car, home or even consumer credit cards."

What's the best way to shop for the holidays? You may be surprised to hear experts still recommend using plastic.

"Using your credit card is always good for protection," added Delgado. "It's always better too if there's identity theft then you can dispute it better on your credit card then with your bank account because that's the money you need to use for your bills and groceries."
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