Posts Tagged: ‘credit card debt’

Nearly Half of U.S. Carries Credit Card Debt for At least Two Years

October 6, 2017 Posted by kingcade

A new survey by CreditCards.com reveals that 43% of adults have carried credit card debt for more than two years, and 23% have been carrying debt for five years or longer.

Those most likely to carry credit card debt were older Baby Boomers (age 63-71) at 63%, while the Silent Generation (ages 72+) was at 57%.  What was more surprising was that out of the 2,000 some adults surveyed, those with more education were less likely to pay their credit card bill in full every month.  Only one in five cardholders with a high school degree or less carry a credit card balance, but one in three college graduates admit carrying one.

Everyday spending, such as grocery shopping and utilities, were the leading contributors to their credit card debt- not luxury purchases. Other reasons included medical bills, home repairs, retail purchases, and vacation expenses.

When it comes to income, Americans earning less are actually more likely to pay off their balances. Only 24% of cardholders who earn less than $50,000 a year carry a credit card balance, compared to 38% of cardholders with an annual salary of more than $50,000.

Florida is in the top 5 states with the highest credit card debt burden, according to CreditCards.com.  Here are some tips on how to tackle long-term credit card debt.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/card-debt-survey.php

https://www.forbes.com/sites/reneemorad/2017/09/30/why-43-percent-of-adults-have-carried-credit-card-debt-for-more-than-two-years/#4a75fdb5e263

http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2017/09/28/nearly-half-americans-carry-credit-card-debt-for-at-least-2-years.html

 

Boost Your Credit Score in 30 Days by Doing This

September 25, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Rebuilding your credit score can take time and there are not many shortcuts, but paying your credit card bill early can give you an added boost in just 30 days. Some consumers saw their credit score increase as much as 100 points.  Here is how it works:

Timing is everything. There are two factors that have the biggest impact on your credit score: One is paying bills on time versus paying late.  Making early payments can help with the second factor: credit utilization (i.e. – how high your balance is compared to your credit limit).

It is recommended that you keep a balance below 30% of your credit card limit and the lower the better.  Consumers with the highest credit scores typically use less than 10% of their available credit.  Here are some tips to reducing your credit utilization.

  • Set up alerts to let you know when you have reached a certain percentage of your available credit. When you get an alert, go online to make a payment.
  • Setting up charge alerts or checking your account regularly so you can pay off purchases as soon as they post.
  • Making scheduled “micropayments” every week or two to keep balances low.
  • Be cautious with retail credit cards that typically offer lower credit limits. If you have just $250 in purchases on the card and the credit limit is $500.  You have already used 50% of your credit utilization.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2017/09/11/credit-move-can-bump-up-your-score-30-days/629455001/

Why Debt Settlement is Still a Bad Alternative to Bankruptcy

September 8, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Increased regulation and enforcement has forced debt settlement companies to do what they promise in recent years, rather than charge people hefty upfront fees and fail to deliver any relief. However, debt settlement is not as consumer-friendly as the industry presents it, and many of the people who praise the companies and the process do not fully understand their alternatives or the long-term consequences of settling debts. A few of the minor consequences you might experience if you opt for debt settlement include: tax bills on the forgiven debt, a dip in credit scores and increased interest on new purchases.

Here are some of the biggest problems with debt settlement:

  • The debt settlement process takes years. Customers are told to stop paying their credit card bills, loans and other debts and put money into a savings account, however; negotiations may take years. According to the Freedom Financial Network, the largest debt settlement company, half of all customers eventually settle at least 75 percent of their debt, but the process usually takes three to four years. In the meantime, customers risk being sued over their debts. On the other hand, Chapter 7 bankruptcy halts collections activity, including lawsuits.
  • The math doesn’t add up. Debts are typically settled for 45 to 50 percent of the current balance, which is often higher than the initial balance because of late fees and interest. The average debt settlement fee is 20 percent of the debt at the time of enrollment. The amount of forgiven debt is usually reported to the IRS and is taxable as income. If the borrower is in the 25 percent federal tax bracket, the total cost of the settlement can equal 90 percent or more of the original amount owed.
  • Debt settlement companies tend to demonize bankruptcy. For example, National Debt Relief, a large debt settlement company, claims on the website, “Declaring Chapter 7 bankruptcy may mean saying goodbye to most of the assets you have accumulated over the course of your life.” However, few people who file for Chapter 7, which erases most debts in three to six months, lose any assets thanks to state laws that typically protect most if not all of what filers own.
  • Debt settlement companies also claim that bankruptcy is harder on credit scores. However, both processes often drop scores into the mid-500s. Credit scores can begin the recovery process immediately after either process is complete. The difference is that Chapter 7 bankruptcy typically takes only months to complete, while debt settlement typically takes years to complete.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Credit Card Debt a Growing Concern for College Students

August 30, 2017 Posted by kingcade

A recent study conducted by Nellie Mae, the nation’s leading student finance firm, revealed that the average undergraduate carries a credit card balance of $2,169.  According to the study, many students use their credit cards without knowing how the bills will even be paid off.  It also showed that many students used credit cards to pay for tuition and books, instead of federal student loans that offer lower interest rates.

Four out of five college students amass nearly $1,000 a year in credit card debt.  One cause of credit card debt is college students’ difficulty in adjusting to their newfound financial freedom.  Parents and students need to come up with a budget for credit card spending before their child leaves for college.  Make sure your college student knows not to use money they do not have, even for a one-time purchase.

Use resources available to keep them on the right path.  You and your college student should sign-up for overdraft alerts on all accounts. Online alerts and apps on your Smartphone can help with this.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

https://www.fastweb.com/personal-finance/articles/dealing-with-credit-card-debt

http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Credit-card-debt-a-mounting-concern-for-college-students-441338263.html

Over 44 Million People Affected by Student Loan Debt

August 22, 2017 Posted by kingcade

According to a survey by LendEDU, a private firm that connects students and their families with student loans and loan refinancing, student loan debt affects more than 44 million borrowers, who owe about $1.3 trillion.

Student loan debt surpassed auto loan and credit card debt. However, mortgage debt remains higher than education debt.

The survey used data from 1,161 four-year colleges throughout the country and found that college students at in-state public schools paid an average of $20,090 in annual tuition for the 2016-2017 school year. This is up 2.6 percent from 2015-2016.

Despite these trends, the average amount of debt incurred by graduating students in the U.S. fell 1.5 percent to $27,975 last year.

Click here to read more on this story.

For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.