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4 Tips for Avoiding Debt on Black Friday


Older Americans are disproportionately likely to be in debt. A 2012 Demos survey found that citizens 65 and older typically carried $9,300 on their credit cards, the most of any age group. Debt burdens are increasing, too. According to the Urban Institute, 43% of seniors had some debt in 2010, compared with 30% in 1990. Stock market rally notwithstanding, debt burdens continue to rise for many older Americans.

Unfortunately, the holiday season — between travel and buying gifts for the family — often only exacerbates these difficulties. A recent NerdWallet study found that 28% of consumers over 60 said that they don't bargain-hunt for their holiday purchases, preferring convenience over savings. Further, they were the least likely to brave the Black Friday crowds. Only 6% said they would do the bulk of their shopping on Thanksgiving weekend, compared with 11% of those aged 45-60 and a full 16% of those aged 30-44. Forgoing lower prices for convenience can be costly in the season of hectic crowds and deep discounts, but it doesn't have to be. Here are five tips for dodging debt on Black Friday, without braving a crowd of angry deal-hunters.

Read the report: In the Red: Older Americans and Credit Card Debt