On Your Side: Skip-a-payment holiday offer

Your wallet knows that this is the most expensive time of the year. Many lenders offer a skip-a-payment option, but it's not easy to decide if that plan works for you.

Ask yourself why you think you need to skip a payment. Is it poor planning or is there an emergency? Make sure you understand the fine print on this offer. Here are three things to ask:

1. Do I qualify?

You might have to be in good standing with good credit. Such as, you've never missed a payment. Some lenders want your business for more than one year before you get this option.

2. Is there a fee?

It could cost you money to skip a payment. It could be a percentage of your loan or just the interest.

3. What happens to my balance?

Usually, it's added on to the end of your loan period. Just make sure you understand your new timeline of payments.

It might not cost you anything, immediately. Plus, if you need some wiggle room to get you through the holiday season it's a option.

Bottom line, only use this option if you really need it. Do the math, because you'll be in debt longer and it might cost you more in interest.