Lefkovitz & Lefkovitz
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Credit card debt levels increase in 2018

According to a report from NerdWallet, the average American household carries $7,000 in revolving debt. That is up from $6,081 in 2017, and this figure is important because it is a more accurate indicator of a person's financial health. Tennessee residents and others are experiencing wage growth, but higher prices are playing a role in increased credit card spending. Medical costs, student loan payments and food prices are causing expenses to outpace incomes for many.

Overall, Americans hold $13.51 trillion in debt, and the average household has $136,000 in balances owed to creditors. These balances include mortgages, car loans and any other type of debt a family may have. Credit card debt may be especially difficult to pay off, and roughly 9 percent of respondents to the NerdWallet survey say that they won't be able to ever repay their balances completely.

The average interest rate on a credit card balance is more than 17 percent. Researchers found that younger people tend to have less credit card debt than others. Millennials have an average of $4,500 in such debt while those between the ages of 45 and 54 owed more than $8,500 on average. Those who are looking to repay their debts are encouraged to start paying more than the minimum on the balance that has the highest interest rate.

Those who are struggling to repay their credit card debt may benefit from filing for bankruptcy. In a Chapter 13 proceeding, individuals may be able to retain property or renegotiate secured loan terms. It may also be possible to have credit card and other unsecured debt balances discharged at the end of the repayment period. During the repayment period, creditors are generally banned from contacting creditors, but an automatic stay may be lifted in certain situations.

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