Just about everyone relies on credit cards these days. It’s difficult to make large purchases without them.
Yet they can lead to major debt for consumers who get hit by late fees or incur high interest rates that kick in after certain stipulations detailed in the fine print of a contract kick in.
Our Louisville bankruptcy lawyers recognize how useful credit cards can be when used wisely. But we also caution consumers that credit can be dangerous. In fact, credit card misuse is one of the leading causes for debt problems in America.
As such, many people who opt for the protections of a Louisville bankruptcy note that it was credit cards that encouraged them to make the decision to go through with bankruptcy.
Apparently, credit card companies know that many people who sign up for their card will one day miss a payment. They may also be relying on those consumers who pay only the minimum amount due each month. Whether it’s a job loss, a medical issue or another circumstance, some consumers fall into these traps.
Creditcards.com reports some staggering statistics about Americans’ use of credit cards.
The website states that the average U.S. household has about $15,799 in credit card debt, for a nationwide total of $793.1 billion as of May 2011. It’s likely to have increased since then. That debt has been put on more than 600 million credit cards.
By 2008, the average person had 3.5 credit cards, on average, in their name. The average APR on a new card was 14.89 percent and the average APR on a card with a balance was 13.10 percent.
The total amount of consumer debt in May 2011 was $2.43 trillion, including other types of loans, not just credit cards. Through 2010, MasterCard had issued 171 million credit cards, Visa 269 million and American Express 48.9 million.
There’s quite a bit of money locked up in credit cards in this country and it won’t be going down soon. Many people are tied to their cards and are having difficulty breaking free.
A Washington Post columnist advises consumers to try the “Debt Dash,” by putting any extra income, from a second job or reduced expenses perhaps, into credit card debt. The method is designed to get rid of debt as soon as possible. The plan is to pick the debt with the lowest balance and knock that off first while making minimum payments on the others. The plan is to move on to the next biggest debt and up until it’s gone. The problem is that making minimum payments adds fees to the debt.
The only surefire way to get out from credit card debt is filing for bankruptcy in Louisville. Filing for bankruptcy allows consumers to rid themselves of all credit card debt. And once the process is over, the consumer can begin the process of trying to repair his or her credit.
For help with bankruptcy in Louisville and a free consultation, contact Schwartz Bankruptcy Law Center today. Call 1-866-270-4495 or contact us through this website.
More Blog Entries:
Credit Card Myths Send Louisville Residents Into Debt, but Bankruptcy Helps: September 14, 2011
In 2012, finally pay off credit cards with the ‘Debt Dash’ method, by Michelle Singletary, The Washington Post