Mike Cherry, CEO of Consumer Credit Counseling Services in Springfield, MO, says while spending has been down for the last two and half years, credit card use is up 10% in the month of December.
His center is counseling people ranging from college students to doctors who come in with large amounts of debt and not enough money to cover their bills.
Cherry says the first step is establishing where they are spending money and getting it under control.
"Most people don't realize how much money they spend until they see it on paper," says Cherry. "And when you get it all written down they think 'my gosh, am I really spending this' and then we look for ways for people to cut their expenses. Maybe you don't need the deluxe cable, you just need basic. Maybe you don't need cable at all. Maybe you don't need to go out to the movies two or three times a week maybe you get Netflix and watch them from home."
Cherry says once a budget is established, counselors at the center work with creditors to create manageable payments to pay off debt.
If you are in need of credit counseling, visit the Consumer Credit Counseling Services website.