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As credit card debt grows, personal savings shrink

Adults in Florida generally understand the importance of building up an emergency savings account. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. Many consumers currently have more in credit card debt than they do in their emergency savings. While this might seem like a cost of modern life, it can actually pose a significant threat to people's financial stability.

Approximately 74 million people in America owe more on their credit cards than they have stashed away in their emergency savings. A leading consumer financial services company reports that a mere 44 percent of households in the United States actually have a higher balance in their savings. The company also conducted a survey of more than a 1,000 people and determined that the rate of people whose credit bills outweigh their savings is the highest it has been in nine years.

Having a small savings account is not the whole problem, either. That same survey discovered that 18 percent of people have no credit card debt, but they also have no emergency savings whatsoever. This effect is seen disproportionately in low income households, as 33 percent of households with annual incomes less than $30,000 were in this position.

An increasing number of people are struggling to establish, maintain and grow emergency savings accounts. What is particularly troubling is that as more people have difficulty establishing a personal financial safety net, credit card debt continues to climb. These types of circumstances can put some people in Florida in a difficult financial position that leaves them vulnerable to growing balances through high interest rates and little savings to fend off financial emergencies. In such situations, some people may want to consider how bankruptcy can help address their debt.

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Paul Urich
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