Consumers tend to rack up a lot of credit card debt during the fourth quarter, largely due to holiday expenses. This year, by one estimate, the average holiday shopper is on track to spend around $800. For many, that means financing, which remains a double-edged sword despite historically low interest rates and an array of new consumer protections. It can either save you a lot of money in interest and fees or trip you up with caveats buried in fine print that drastically inflate your expenses. Here are three of the best and three of the worst financing offers for holiday shoppers in 2012:
The US unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of 7 percent in November. The robust job gain suggested that the economy may have begun to accelerate and fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve will scale back its economic stimulus when it meets later this month.
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