Having a good credit score can make many things in life easier, especially when it comes to purchasing a new home or vehicle. However, it can be easy to get off track. Credit card debt with a high interest rate is one way to lower your credit score, but for many Americans, that is exactly what has happened to their financial situations.
The problem of credit card debt may be more widespread than we think. According to Experian, the average American consumer owes more than $6,000 in credit card debt. This figure has gone up three percent in just one year. This amount of debt can be very difficult to get out of, even for someone earning a decent annual income.
Retail credit cards can be particularly tempting, especially when offered a great deal at the cash register, but these cards come with high interest rates and can be easy to rack up debt. Unless you are able to pay the retail card off in full after making the purchase, it is not recommended that you sign up for these department store cards.
Many consumers believe that not having a credit card is best when it comes to staying out of debt, but it is important to at least establish a credit score. Having one card, using it for minimal expenses and making payments on the balance in full on a regular basis every month can be an excellent way to establish that strong credit score. In fact, by having a high credit score, you have a better chance of getting a card with a low interest rate when opening the account.
What happens if you do have credit card debt that has gotten out of hand? If possible, it is best to make a larger payment than the minimum payment amount. If any extra money is available in the person’s budget, it is best to put that extra money towards paying the debt. In addition, it can help to focus efforts on one card at a time, usually the card with the highest interest rate first. Once that card is paid, focus all the money that was going towards the first card on the next one and so on until the accounts are paid in full.
If you are not able to keep up on payments, contact the credit card company to negotiate a lower payment. If you fall behind on payments, it may be wise to contact a credit counselor to discuss repayment plans or negotiate the debt amount. If you are not able to make either of these options work, it may be time to talk to a bankruptcy attorney to discuss the options available to help eliminate the debt.
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If you have 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 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.