CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwire) -- 11/19/12 -- With Halloween long gone and Black Friday and Cyber Monday just days away, holiday shoppers are making their list and checking it twice -- and getting ready to head to shopping malls and the Internet to find the best deals for 2012. TransUnion provides shoppers with tips to help them have a happy holiday shopping season while minimizing their exposure to identity theft and avoiding the holiday shopping hangover in January.
According to a recent Zogby Analytics survey commissioned by TransUnion, nearly a quarter (22.8 percent) of Americans surveyed plan to spend between $251-$500 on holiday gifts this holiday season. Nearly an additional fifth (18.7 percent) of Americans surveyed plan to spend $501-$1,000 this holiday season.
For many, the arrival of the holiday season seems to send a reflexive signal to start spending. TransUnion provides consumers with some strategies to control spending so that their debt doesn't spiral upwards and their credit score nosedives.
Be strategic about credit:
If you're already carrying a balance on your credit cards:
"If you are concerned about your credit score, it might be a better idea to pay for holiday shopping with cash," says Heather Battison, TransUnion's senior director responsible for consumer education. "If lenders see a high credit utilization ratio, they might conclude that you're 'maxing out,' or doing more spending than you can pay for."
TransUnion also provides consumers with proactive steps they can take now that will help minimize their exposure to identity theft -- both while shopping online and in the malls.
"The holidays present a wealth of opportunity for identity thieves," says Battison. "The hectic holiday season can potentially expose our personal information to theft in both high-tech ways like phishing scams, and in traditional ones, such as a stolen wallet or mail theft."
While these identity theft prevention tips from TransUnion are useful year round, they're especially important during the holiday season:
To begin your holiday shopping season by checking your credit and debt situation, visit TransUnion to obtain your free credit score.
TransUnion Interactive, Inc. is a consumer subsidiary of TransUnion. As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion employs associates in more than 32 countries on five continents. www.transunion.com Follow us on Facebook.
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