Most people are not surprised when someone advises them not to rake up too much of debt on their credit cards, as repaying an enormous credit card debt can often bring about significant financial challenges. It seems, however, that many Americans, including many in Chattanooga and Hamilton, have been forced to turn to credit cards to get by. The result is that at the end of the fourth quarter of 2018 nationwide credit card debt stood at a staggering $870 billion.Many people have seen reports about the high dependency of Americans on credit cards, especially during and after the financial downturn of 2008. But what makes this latest debt figure interesting is that this $870 billion is almost 83% of the total revolving debt of $1.05 trillion that exists in the country. A major contributing factor was a rise of $26 billion in debt during the last quarter of 2018 alone, which is the highest quarterly increase among all the different categories of household debts in the country.As debt has risen, so have the delinquencies. According to reports, there are 37 million credit card holders who have defaulted on payments for a period of 90 days or more. This is an increase of two million from the delinquency figures recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017. The increase in delinquency currently stands at 5% and continues the trend observed since 2016. While Tennessee does not feature among the states with the highest credit card debt, these figures are still a matter of concern.
Once someone is trapped in credit card debt, it takes a serious toll not only on that person’s finances but also on that individual’s personal and professional lives. Therefore, those who are struggling with credit card debt, whether due to unexpected medical expenses or the sudden loss of a job, may want to consider seeking advice from an experienced debt relief attorney. A well-organized debt relief plan, which includes the possibility of a bankruptcy filing, may help minimize creditor harassment and overcome the financial difficulties that jeopardize a financially secure life.