Credit card debt increased in 2013

Since the start of the great recession, many Mississippians have struggled to make enough income to cover their expenses. This has been far from easy for many residents though, with an uncertain job market, stagnant wages and a rising cost of living. Many people have had to declare bankruptcy in order to stop garnishment, put an end to creditor harassment, and give themselves a fresh financial start.

As both Mississippi and the rest of the United States emerge from the worst of the recession, some people may be tempted once again to take on too much credit card debt. According to a recent consumer credit report from the Federal Reserve, Americans' reliance on credit card debt increased in 2013, although it dropped slightly in January 2014. Credit card debt went up by 1.3 percent in 2013, compared to less than one percent in the preceding two years. During the worst of the recession, in 2008 and 2009, credit card debt declined by 8 percent each year.

Overall debt increased by about 6 percent in 2013. Student loans, which are generally not dischargeable in bankruptcy, went up by 8 percent.

It is possible that in addition to credit cards, some Americans are turning to other types of debt to help insulate them from severe financial situations. While this is understandable, and can be done properly in many circumstances, borrowing should always be done very carefully. Speaking with an experienced bankruptcy attorney can help a Mississippian understand the implications of past and future borrowing and deal with creditors effectively.

Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Credit card debt in U.S. increases in 2013 as consumer confidence grows, rates drop," Teresa Dixon Murray, March 18, 2014

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