Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

Average American Consumer Carries over $90,000 in Debt

Most American consumers carry some form of debt. In fact, debt has become a way of life for many Americans. Whenever a big purchase needs to be made, consumers will often apply for financing to pay for this purchase. This can include items like a home, car, furniture, or even for basic purchases.  

According to data from the credit agency, Experian, as of 2019, the average American consumer has $90,460 in debt from various sources, including mortgages, student loan debt, personal loans and credit cards. Escaping this debt load can be tricky, and Experian’s data shows that certain generations struggle more than others when handling consumer debt. 

The Experian study broke down different generational categories by age, examining which group carried more debt.  The lowest debt load was carried by the youngest group, Generation Z. Individuals in this category are between the ages of 18 to 23, and they reported an average debt load of $9,593. The largest debt load by far was carried by members of Gen X, ages 40 to 55, with an average debt load of $135,841. The next highest group was the Baby boomer generation, ages 56 to 74, with an average debt of $96,984. Millennials who are between the ages of 24 and 39 reported carrying an average of $78,396 in debt, while the oldest generation, the Silent generation (ages 75 and older) owed an average of $40,925.  

Experian reported that members of the Baby boomer and Silent generation groups saw the most significant decrease in debt since 2015.  The largest increase in debt over the last five years was seen in the Millennial generation. In 2015, the average millennial had $49,722 in debt. By 2019, this figure had jumped 58 percent to $78,396 in average total debt.  

While members of the youngest group, Gen Z, had the lowest overall debt load, they also struggled the most to make their payments on this debt. According to Experian, 12 percent of Gen Z consumers had credit card accounts that were at least 30 days or more past due.  

Gen X carried the highest average debt in all categories with the exception of personal loans. Members in this group had the highest credit card balances than others with the average balance being at $8,215. Gen X members also had the highest car loan balances at $21,570. They also carried the highest average mortgage balance with the average being $238,344. Gen X also had the highest average student loan balance at $39,981 and highest home equity lines of credit (HELOC) balance at $49,221. However, in the personal loan category, Baby boomers had the highest personal loan balance with the average balance of $19,253.  

Continuing to struggle with debt is a slower, less effective way to pay it off.  Many different debt relief options exist, including debt consolidation, debt settlement or negotiation and bankruptcy – but it is important that as a consumer you research your options carefully. 

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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.   

Credit Card Debt

What Happens to Credit Card Debt When a Person Dies?

After an individual dies, one of the big questions that comes up from those handling the estate of the deceased is what happens to that person’s debt? These debts can include medical bills, taxes, and credit card debt. One of the main concerns brought up by clients is whether they will be personally responsible for the credit card debt of their deceased relative. The good news is only the estate will be responsible for any outstanding debt and not the family of the deceased.

Whether the person has a will or no will, his or her estate will need to be processed through probate court. If the deceased had a will, he or she will have named a personal representative who will handle the estate, and if the person has no will, the court will appoint someone to administer the estate.

Debt Relief

Debt Relief Services: Helpful or Harmful?

Although filing for bankruptcy can provide considerable relief to those who are facing insurmountable debt, bankruptcy is not always the best choice for everyone. While some may not qualify for bankruptcy, others may wish to use an alternative solution to solve their debt problems. This is where debt relief programs come in, claiming to help consumers negotiate with their creditors and provide a solution to settle the debt.

However, is it safe to use a national debt relief organization to resolve your debts? While some report positive experiences with these companies, others (many others) have reported negative experiences that resulted in them spending more money in the long run. Also, many consumers have been taken advantage of by debt relief companies that ended up collecting fees without actually providing any debt relief services.

Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

Tips for Conquering High-Interest Debt

Being saddled with debt is a stressful experience, but paying it down can be even more difficult, especially if that debt has a high interest rate. It helps to identify and prioritize these debts.

Of the types of high-interest debts, credit card debt is arguably the most common and most expensive to pay down. One reason credit card debt can be so hard to escape is the fact that it is revolving. What this means is the consumer has access to a continuing stream of credit, which can make it tempting to continue adding to the outstanding balance owed. In fact, there is nothing preventing the consumer from adding more to the debt until he or she reaches the credit limit.

Credit Card Debt, Debt Collection, Debt Relief

How to Continue Paying Debt While Unemployed During COVID-19

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused countless Americans to lose their jobs. More than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the wake of the outbreak. Paying for basic expenses can be difficult enough but paying down debt while unemployed can seem impossible.

However, with proper planning and by taking advantage of opportunities available during this time, it can make things a little easier. The first step is to evaluate all expenses coming out monthly and create a budget to see what payments can be made. Additionally, the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) provides some relief, as well, that can make this process easier.

Credit Card Debt, Debt Collection, Debt Relief

What Happens to Unpaid Debt When A Person Dies?

Given the amount of debt consumers carry during their lifetime, it comes as no surprise that for many people this debt will remain unpaid after death.  What happens to that debt when the person who was originally responsible for the debt passes away?

Ultimately, how that debt is handled depends largely on the type of debt owed. After someone dies, anything that person owned at the time of his or her death and anything he or she owed is all a part of the deceased individual’s estate.  Essentially everyone has some type of debt when they die, even if it is just payment for funeral and last medical expenses. All this debt will need to be handled in the person’s estate by the personal representative, either appointed in a Last Will and Testament or appointed by the probate court.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Credit Card Debt

How to Keep Credit Card Debt Under Control During the Covid-19 Crisis

During the Covid-19 pandemic, many Americans have resorted to using credit cards to purchase basic living expenses. With many Americans out of work and stuck at home, this crisis has wreaked havoc on their finances.

Analysts at Bankrate.com estimate that over 110 million consumers entered this crisis carrying credit card debt. A great portion of this debt was already incurred by paying for necessary living expenses, such as childcare and groceries, with credit credits. These expenses also included paying for repairs to cars or homes, as well as emergency medical expenses.

Coronavirus, COVID-19, Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

How to Manage Credit Card Debt After Losing a Job

Many South Floridians are finding themselves out of work due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This loss of income can be devastating and make it difficult to continue paying monthly expenses, including credit card debt.

Before the crisis hit, credit card debt had reached an all-time high after the Federal Reserve reported that the fourth-quarter of 2019 credit card debt increased by $46 billion to $930 billion nationwide. It is expected that balances will only increase as Americans find themselves shut in with limited income being earned. Additionally, serious delinquencies were on the rise at the end of 2019, and these numbers are also expected to trend upward, specifically for consumers between the ages of 18 and 29.

Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

Debt Among Older Americans Reaches Record High Levels

American seniors have seen their debt levels increase significantly over the past two decades.  It is estimated that the total debt load carried by American consumers over the age of 70 years old increased by 543% between 1999 and 2019. It now stands at a record high of $1.1 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Individuals who were in their 60s saw their debt increase by 471%, bringing their total debt load to $2.14 trillion. Seniors were not the only group who saw large increases in their debt, but these two age groups saw the largest increases.

Bankruptcy Law, Credit, Credit Card Debt, Debt Relief

Credit Card Debt and the Effects It Can Have on Your Health

Credit card debt can be a necessary evil, especially when it comes to establishing one’s credit score. However, the problems arise when that credit card balance gets out of hand to the point where the cardholder can no longer pay down the balance. The stress of mounting credit card debt can also affect a person’s health, according to a study from CompareCards.com.

The study shows that credit card debt is taking its toll on the health and well-being of many American consumers. According to the report, fewer cardholders can pay their balances in full at the end of each month. Anything left on those balances roll over to the next month and are compounded even more by interest. Before long, those balances inch closer and closer to the allotted credit limit. One in three consumers surveyed by WalletHub reported being fearful that they will max out their credit cards.