According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the level of debt for consumers who are behind on their credit cards increased in the fourth quarter of 2017 by $11.9 billion. That’s an increase of 11 ½ percent. The distressing aspect of this is that these numbers could mean that these consumers are using their credit cards to get by. There was also an increase of a little over 5% of U.S. homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments during the same period. These numbers suggest that, while the economy is improving, some in middle-class America are not seeing the benefits.
Credit cards represent only about 9% of the banking sector’s overall $17.4 trillion annual business. But, credit card debt made up about 59% of noncollectable loans during the last quarter of 2017. Again, this may suggest that some consumers are using credit cards to cover shortfalls between their income and expenses.
Possible Solutions for Your Credit Card Debt
There are some things consumers can do to address their credit card debt. A good start is to closely examine spending patterns and reduce spending where possible. This could free up funds that could then be applied to reduce credit card balances. Since credit cards normally carry high interest rates, a significant reduction in principal owed translates to less interest paid on the debt.
Another strategy might be to obtain a part-time or second job to help get credit card balances paid down. Setting goals for the reduction or elimination of credit card debt will help get things moving and help you track your progress.
If the above measures do not help, it may be time to seek professional advice. Credit card debt is general unsecured debt that can normally be easily adjusted or eliminated in a Chapter 13 debt consolidation plan or a straight Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
However, before these options are considered, the advice of a reputable and knowledgeable debt relief attorney should be obtained. Aside from credit card balances, there are usually several other considerations to ponder and you will need the advice of an attorney to help you balance the costs and benefits of filing a bankruptcy case. If you’re seeking help, contact the attorneys at Bond & Botes, P.C. today for your free initial consultation.
Ed Woods is the Managing Attorney of several of the Bond & Botes Law Offices throughout Mississippi. He holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern Mississippi, and a Juris Doctorate from Mississippi College School of Law. Ed puts his extensive knowledge of bankruptcy law to use defending consumers from debt collection lawsuits and more. Read his full bio here.