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Debt is on the rise for many American families

Like many people across the United States, residents of Durham may find themselves deeper in debt than they were a few years ago. While a number of factors play into why this may be, it is never easy to be struggling to pay outstanding balances, and many people often feel hopeless and frustrated about their debt.

After the Great Recession hit, many people worked to rein in their debt, and most lenders tightened their standards. However, as the economy strengthened once again over the last few years, spending and debt have once again been on the rise. In addition, the increased cost of living combined with stagnant wages have left many people struggling financially. In fact, the average household now has a total debt of $132,529. That includes all types of liabilities, including mortgage debt.

Interest rates also appear to be playing a role in the increase in debt. A recent rate hike approved by the Federal Reserve will likely mean that many people will end up owing more in interest each year, particularly when it comes to credit card debt. The median amount most families owe on their credit cards is $16,061, with $1,292 of interest each year. While those numbers are not quite as high as they were at the peak of the recession, they are 10 percent higher than just 10 years ago.

It can be very frustrating to be faced with large outstanding balances that seem unsurmountable, and some people may look to bankruptcy to provide them with relief. People who are struggling with a large amount of debt may wish to consult with an experienced attorney.

Source: Money Magazine, “The Average U.S. Household Owes More than $16,000 in Credit Card Debt,” Kerry Close, Dec. 20, 2016

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Durham, NC 27705

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