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Russell G. Small

Many people struggle with mounting credit card debt

People in Connecticut and across the country are facing an increasing burden of credit card balances. According to a credit card debt study by WalletHub, Americans began 2019 owing over $1 trillion in credit card bills. In the second quarter of 2019, consumers nationwide accumulated $35.6 billion in credit card debt, a national record for a one-quarter increase in debt. Over the year to come, the study estimated that another $70 billion in debt would be accumulated. Connecticut ranked 26th in the country in terms of debt accumulated, falling roughly in the middle of the pack.

Still, many Connecticut residents are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Credit cards can be handy for urgent expenses like car repairs, home fixes or medical bills, but people may find themselves facing difficulties paying off the bills, especially as interest expenses add up. The larger a credit card bill, the longer it takes to pay it off, which could then lead to even bigger interest payments. Around 39 million Americans have been in credit card debt for a minimum of two years, and many people have more debt than they do savings.

Emergency expenses are some of the biggest contributors to long-term debt, especially as they may represent larger costs accumulated quickly in a specific period of time. However, daily costs of living and discretionary expenses can also add up over time. This is especially true when financial situations change. In such cases, a debtor may be unable to keep up with their previous planned payments.

Many debtors deal with creditor harassment, collection calls and escalating fees. However, personal bankruptcy could help a debtor obtain financial relief. An attorney could explain the bankruptcy options to a client.

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