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Understanding credit card debt

Many Florida consumers and others around the country are hesitant to talk about their level of debt. A study by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that people would rather share how much they weigh or how much money they have in the bank than give information about their credit score or debt level. This is particularly the case when it comes to credit card debt.

Some types of debt may be deemed as acceptable in the public's view, such as a mortgage or car loan. However, many assume credit card debt has been incurred with luxury purchases or unnecessary expenses. Yet, credit card balances have reached record levels, with an average household debt of over $10,000.

A consumer financial service company has noted that credit card debt is tied to a lack of savings. For those households with an income over $75,000, roughly half of them could not handle emergency expenses, such as unplanned car or medical problems. The data shows that nearly 75 percent of people in this country find it difficult to save money due to unforeseen expenses. It's in these emergency situations where many consumers find it necessary to use their credit cards, thus running up balances in many cases.

Experts offer suggestions on how to make improvements to finances. To increase savings, it might be helpful to consider automatic deductions from direct deposit payroll. The goal should be to have an emergency fund that would cover expenses for at least three to six months. For credit card debt, researchers recommend paying off the cards with the lowest balances first. Once that card balance is gone, focus on the one with the next lowest balance.

When credit card debt seems insurmountable, it would be wise to contact a Florida bankruptcy attorney for guidance. An experienced lawyer will develop a plan uniquely designed for an individual's situation. The legal team will work diligently to help clients reduce or eliminate their debt and get their finances back on the right track.

Source: bankrate.com, "What we get wrong about credit card debt", Taylor Tepper, Nov. 20, 2017

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