Why Are So Many More Shoppers Buying Gifts on Credit This Holiday Season?

Paying with plastic is up 8% over last year

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Economists have sounded a note of (cautious) optimism at the approach of the holiday shopping season. With the unemployment rate low (4.1 percent in October, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics) and consumer confidence the highest it’s been in nearly 17 years, Americans are expected to spend liberally.

Maybe too liberally.

More than half of holiday shoppers (56 percent, in fact) admit that debt is the way they now finance their gift buying. That figure is among the results of a just-released study from personal-finance site NerdWallet, which



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