If used wisely, credit cards can allow you earn reward points, finance vacations or large purchases for 0%, or other beneficial financial maneuvers. However, many people use credit cards irresponsibly and for the wrong reasons, such as to buy things they cannot actually afford.
While credit cards can seem to help you stay afloat in a temporary time of need or may provide you with a lifestyle beyond your means, credit card debt can cause many issues in your life and can be difficult to overcome.
Credit Card Debt in the U.S.
Despite the risks of abusing credit cards, recent data indicates that the average amount of credit card debt for households in the United States is $15,762. This is in addition to mortgages, auto loans, student loans, medical debts, and other expenses.
In total, American families have amassed an estimated $733 billion in credit card debt. Unfortunately, this debt is causing many families to experience significant financial hardship.
How to Overcome Credit Card Debt
Many people believe that if they keep paying the required minimum monthly payment on their credit cards, that they can eventually overcome their debt. However, due to interest rates, your balance may actually increase each month if you only pay the minimum.
It could take years to pay off your balance–if you are ever able to pay it at all. This can be complicated further if you are still making purchases using your credit cards and adding to your debt.
In this situation, many people view credit card debt as a type of black hole they will never escape. They plan to keep floating just above the surface by making minimum payments and transferring balances as long as possible. However, the unexpected loss of a job or illness can make it impossible to keep going in this manner.
Many people faced with seemingly insurmountable credit card debt may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. If granted, bankruptcy can discharge your credit debt so that you can start over with a clean slate. Filing for bankruptcy is a big decision, however, and you should carefully consider all the pros and cons of doing so before you proceed.
Consult with an Experienced Bankruptcy Attorney Today
An experienced bankruptcy lawyer can help you weigh your options to decide whether bankruptcy is right for you. If you are drowning in debt and need help, please call the Law Office of Michael Alan Siddons for help. We serve clients in New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, so please call at 610-255-7500 for a free consultation.