Unmanageable levels of revolving debt are a serious problem for a growing number of families in Tennessee and around the country, and the amount Americans owe to credit card companies now exceeds $1 trillion. Some financial analysts say that rising credit card debt is a sign that the economy is growing and consumers are feeling more optimistic about the future, but others point out that many families are turning to credit cards to make ends meet because wage growth over the last 10 years has failed to match increases in the cost of living.
The 157 million Americans who carry balances on one or more credit cards only represent about two-thirds of the adult population, and this is why data concerning average households or consumers does not really tell the full story. The average household in the United States pays $1,333 each year in credit card interest, but that figure would be far higher if only those who actually paid these finance charges were counted.
When the financial website NerdWallet looked more deeply into this issue, it found that the average credit card debt of households who carried revolving balances was a sobering $16,061. These balances accrue interest at rates that average 19.36 percent, and signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve indicate that rates will likely be going back up in the years ahead as the economy stabilizes and fears of another recession recede.
Escaping unmanageable debt can be extremely difficult when disposable income is scant and bills are rising. Credit card balances can take decades to pay off if only minimum payments are made each month, but attorneys with experience in this area could help cash-strapped consumers by explaining the advantages and disadvantages of the different forms of debt relief available. Filing for personal bankruptcy may not be the ideal solution for all unmanageable financial situations, but it does provide a possible escape from overwhelming debt and puts an end to harassment from creditors.