Credit card debt and the holidays
Americans love their credit cards. It seems like everyone has at least one or two credit cards. You may even know someone with five or 10 credit cards to their name. If you add up all of the credit card debt across the country, including debt from Georgia, however, you would have nearly $800 billion. The only other type of debt with a higher number is student loans. In addition, credit cards are commonly used for the ever-increasing online holiday gift purchases.
A marketing director for a credit counseling service said that people often fail to seek help from them in time for a positive impact to be made. Some who eventually seek help come to them with credit card debts of and around $80,000. She said that bankruptcy laws have changed, and people wanting to file for bankruptcy must start with counseling first, prior to proceeding forward with a bankruptcy decision.
The director also cautioned that filing for bankruptcy changes a person’s ability to buy things over the course of seven years. This can include affecting how you buy a house or car, as well as other changes to your lifestyle. She noted that credit card companies might be willing to waive fees or accept less money than was originally owed.
For some people, bankruptcy may be the best option or the only option. In those situations, a bankruptcy court would handle the process for the person dealing with too many debts and creditors. As many Georgia residents know firsthand, bankruptcy often allows an individual or family to emerge from the process with a better handle on their finances and a plan in place to avoid the problems that forced them into that situation in the first place.
Source: Democrat & Chronicle, “Debt hangover follows holiday fun,” Tom Tobin, Dec. 24, 2013
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