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Credit card debt growing across the nation

Many people in North Carolina are struggling with insurmountable amounts of credit card debt. This is especially true if they have paid for some significant expenses on credit or their income has declined after signing up for new credit cards. Across the country, people are accumulating increasing amounts of debt; the average individual debt reached $5,331 in 2019 on credit cards alone. Most people are unable to pay off their full balance each month; only 45 percent pay in full when they receive their monthly statements.

A number of factors may influence how much credit card debt a person has. People between 45 and 54 have the highest amount of debt. At the same time, people in the same category often have the highest incomes, so they may be better able to deal with the amounts that they owe. Younger and older Americans have lower amounts of debt. As people retire, they are less likely to accumulate major purchases on their credit cards as they adjust to a fixed income. In addition, those who make more money are also more likely to spend money. At the same time, those people may be better placed to pay off their debt. This debt-to-income ratio may be a more important metric.

Overall, Americans have $1.04 trillion in credit card debt, an increase from $857 billion in 2013. A full 83 percent of American adults have at least one credit card, and the average person has three.

Some people get behind on paying off their credit card debts after a major financial change like a job loss or other significant expenses like large medical bills. An individual who is unable to pay off their cards could consult with a bankruptcy lawyer about their opportunities to seek debt relief and move toward a new financial future.

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