Americans started to carry more credit card debt

Having excessive amounts of credit card debt is one of the many reasons Minnesotans decide to file for bankruptcy. In many of these cases it was never really their intention to rack up thousands of dollars worth of debt, but either the debt crept up over time or sprung up due to unexpected expenses and they had nowhere else to turn.

Credit card debt has been a problem for many Americans. For a while people were concentrating on paying down their debt and not making new purchases. But this trend seems like it has reversed with a recent study from finding consumers are once again using their cards and taking on new credit card debt.

For 2012, the year ended with a net increase of $35.8 billion in credit card debt. However, at this point, consumers are on track to take on $47 billion in new credit card debt. If 2013 follows this trend, it would be similar to 2011 when the year started with a pay down of $32.7 billion in debt, but then ended with that debt being reacquired plus another $46.71 billion added.

For consumers who are taking on extra credit card debt this year, while this can be viewed at as a positive with people having more confidence in the economy, it is important for individuals to realize that the money put on a card needs to be paid back. Sometimes people can use cards, spending thousands of dollars, but then seem almost surprised when it is time to start making payments on those purchases.

There are those too who are in the tough financial spot of having to rely on their credit cards for everyday purchases, like groceries and gas. For these people, while it could be living outside of their means, for many it is due to a job lay-off or taking a pay cut.

Whatever the situation is though, those struggling to keep up with their minimum monthly payments -- or those already behind on payments -- should know options are often available. It is just a matter of learning about these options. This is where an attorney with debt relief experience can step in.

Source: Sun Sentinel, "A bad old habit returning: More credit card debt," Donna Gehrke-White, June 12, 2013

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