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Credit card debt on the rise, nearing $1 trillion nationally

For many Tennesseans, credit can be a godsend. It can allow people to leverage financial advances to buy now what they would normally have to wait to purchase. If wielded wisely, that leverage can reap enormous benefits. But credit carries risk when life throws a curve ball. Just ask those carrying credit-card debt when the Great Recession struck.

Despite the still-fresh lessons from that recession, it appears that many people have begun to forget, according to a recent study by CardHub.com. That study indicates that debt picked up in 2015, from about $850 billion to nearly $920 million. More than 70 percent of the surge came in the fourth quarter alone, the fastest pace since the Great Recession.

Nor is the gain simply the product of a one-off quarter. According to the study, seven of the last 10 quarters point to consumers sliding back to their pre-recession credit habits.

These gains in credit could be a sign of renewed consumer confidence, a sign that consumers believe that the economy is picking up. Or it could be an indicator of something else. Whatever it means at the macro level, for individuals it means heightened danger when problems arise. That is because going into credit-card debt puts stress on a person's finances, which gives them less resiliency when issues materialize, issues like an unforeseen injury or job loss.

To learn more about the possibility of discharging credit-card debt through bankruptcy, Tennesseans may benefit from discussing their situation with an experienced bankruptcy attorney. Doing so could be the first step toward a clean financial slate.

Source: CNBC, "US credit card debt balloons to $917B: What it means," Fred Imbert, March 10, 2016

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Mark T. Young & Associates
2895 Northpoint Blvd.
Hixson, TN 37343

Toll Free: 888-376-0282
Phone: 423-933-1606
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