Posts Tagged: ‘credit card debt’

Record High Credit Card Debt Exceeds Previous Numbers Set Prior to the 2008 Recession

August 16, 2017 Posted by kingcade

U.S. credit card debt is just over $1 trillion, exceeding the previous high set in April 2008 right before the Great Recession. The average amount of credit card debt per household is $9,600. That equals about 17% of the average U.S. household income. Since the average interest rate on a credit card is 16%, and about 24% for those with “less than perfect” credit, that debt grows between $1,600 and $2,300 each year.

A recent survey found millennials’ knowledge on credit card use troubling. A few millennials (6%) actually believe that missing a credit card payment would “improve” their credit rating. 17% said missing a card payment would have no effect on their score. Some 36% have maxed out credit cards and 48% carry card balances over to the next month, paying high interest rates and other monthly fees.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in a 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.

5 Mistakes keeping you in Credit Card Debt

July 20, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Approximately 122 million Americans carry credit card debt.  In fact, the average debt per household is $8,448.  With interest rates averaging 14%, that means Americans are paying more than $1,000 in interest alone each year.  Many consumers remain trapped in this cycle.  Here’s why:

  1. Failure to create a realistic budget. When establishing a budget for yourself, it is easy to look forward and see how much you will spend. However, the most effective budgets are created by looking backwards, and understanding where your money (every last penny) went.
  2. Not making the tough decisions. Oftentimes, the right decisions are easy to calculate but hard to execute. For example, knowing your car payment is too high but not taking the steps to trade it in and purchase a less costly, slightly older model.
  3. Taking advantage of automation. It’s easy to automate your student loan and retirement payments, but what about your credit card payments? If you plan to become debt-free you can make sure the only money remaining in your checking account at the end of each month is your budgeted spending money.  Data has shown that automation is the best way to achieve your financial goals.
  4. Convincing yourself the reward points, miles, cash back, etc. are worth it. Earning cash back and “free” flyer miles are a great way to put some extra money in your pocket.  But if you are deep in credit card debt, those flights and reward points are costing you more than the perks.
  5. Trying to borrow your way out of debt. Debt consolidation and balance transfers can help reduce the cost of your debt, but if you have not dealt with your spending problems these tools can be dangerous.

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.

Related Resources: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nickclements/2017/07/12/5-mistakes-keeping-you-in-credit-card-debt/#7aa149cf2545

What You Should Know before Closing out A Credit Card

July 19, 2017 Posted by kingcade

When closing out a credit card, the effects it can have on your credit score lie in the details.  Here are some important facts you need to know before closing out your card.

  1. Age Matters. The age of your credit card that is. The average age of your open accounts makes up 15 percent of your overall credit score. So if the card you are closing out has been open for a long time, it really is better to keep it open and pay it in full, otherwise your score will be negatively effected.
  2. Available Credit. Your credit utilization ratio is important. A low credit utilization ratio would be if you have $300 or less on a credit card that allows you to spend $1,000.  A high credit utilization ratio is if you have $993 in charges on a card that gives you a credit limit of $1,000.  Lenders do not like you to do this and your score will be penalized as a result.
  3. Automatic payments. If you have been using your credit card to make payments on your car insurance or electric bill each month automatically, make sure and update this information timely before closing out the card.  This way you can avoid getting hit with late fees and other penalties.
  4. Rewards. If you have accumulated reward points on your credit card, redeem them first before closing out the card.  Otherwise you will likely lose them.
  5. Verify. It can take up to a month or two before the account is closed, so keep that in mind. Mistakes on credit reports are also fairly common. In fact, a recent study revealed that one in five consumers have at least one error on their credit report. It is always a good idea to double-check your account has been completely closed out.

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.

Related Resources: http://www.cnbc.com/2017/07/12/10-things-to-know-before-closing-a-credit-card.html

Higher Vehicle Costs Driving a Rise in Auto Loan Delinquencies

July 13, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The price tags on vehicles continues to the increase, which means consumers are borrowing more money to make their purchases.  This in turn is having an effect on household budgets, pushing some families to the max.  New cars now cost an average $35,000, compared to an average $31,000 in 2013, according to Edmunds.com.

The monthly payment on a new vehicle with a $31,000 outstanding loan is about $516 a month, before insurance, gas and maintenance costs are factored in.

Used vehicles have also become more expensive.  The average loan on a used car bought at a dealership costs about $21,000 and carries an average $380-a-month payment.

Credit requirements have been less strict in recent years, as banks and other lending institutions began pushing auto loans, even sub-prime loans to meet the car-buying demand.

Delinquencies in indirect auto loans- those arranged through a third party, such as an auto dealer- increased to 1.83 percent.  Delinquencies in direct auto loans- those arranged directly through a bank- increased to 1.03 percent.

Consumers have over-extended themselves in other areas as well, according to the American Bankers Association.  Delinquencies in bank credit cards rose to 2.74 percent.  Home equity lines of credit delinquencies rose to 1.11 percent.

There certainly seems to be a correlation.  Consumers with credit card debt often struggle with auto loans and mortgage loans, too.

Just like with homes, consumers can end up with upside-down car loans, where the value of the car is worth less than what they owe. This is oftentimes due to higher interest and the terms and conditions of the loan itself.  Many consumers who end up trapped in these type loans are considered to be a higher credit risk.  They oftentimes end up being sold a lower-quality car at a higher cost.

When filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, consumers have some leverage because the lender knows that bankruptcy gives them the option of surrendering the vehicle and canceling all liability. Banks lose a lot of money on repossessions, so they have an incentive to offer a better deal, such as reducing the principal of the loan to the vehicle’s current value.

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.

Related Resources:

http://www.post-gazette.com/business/money/2017/07/10/Car-loans-delinquencies/stories/201707090086

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/car-chapter-7-bankruptcy-29608.html

How a debt avalanche strategy can eliminate your debt

June 28, 2017 Posted by kingcade

One of the smartest and fastest ways to eliminate your debt is a strategy known as a debt avalanche.  To start, you must first take inventory of your debt- meaning you need to write down all outstanding debts- including credit card balances, student loan payments, car payments, etc. and determine the interest rates you are paying on each of the balances.

The debt avalanche strategy begins by ranking each of your debts by interest rate, from highest to lowest.  No matter the size of the loan balance, it will always be less expensive (and faster) to pay off your debts in order from highest to lowest interest rates.

For example, your interest rate on a credit card is probably going to run much higher than the interest rate on your vehicle.  Tackle those debts with the highest interest rates, first and save as much money on interest payments as possible.

Finally, if the debt inventory process reveals an overwhelming or confusing amount of debt, consider meeting with a financial expert who can discuss your options in greater detail.  Sometimes a simple debt consolidation can reduce your payments by thousands, just by reducing the interest amount.  If you fear you might be at risk of personal bankruptcy, it is best to meet with a professional as soon as possible to know exactly where you stand.  Many bankruptcy attorneys offer free consultations and have appointments available on the weekend.

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.