The profile of credit card debt is changing for many young people in North Carolina. Millennials were once known for their aversion to overdue bills, especially as many of them became adults and entered the workforce during the 2008 financial crisis. As a result, many of them steered clear of credit cards. However, as millennials’ salaries have grown and card issuers have developed new offers that are particularly appealing to younger people, they have taken on a growing burden of debt.
Along with that overall increase in credit card debt, young people now also have a greater share of delinquent debt. Over 8% of credit card balances carried by young Americans were at least 90 days overdue. This marks an eight-year high in the level of delinquent debt carried by younger people. Experts say that many people have been inspired to open credit cards as their own personal income has grown. These new cardholders often feel confident that they will be able to pay back their bills. Of course, personal circumstances like job loss or a sudden illness can interfere with those plans. When credit cards are involved, overdue payments can add up, especially as interest rates are high. Even people with good credit pay interest rates of 18%.
Credit card companies have actually tweaked their offerings to appeal more strongly to young people. Studies show that traditional incentives like zero-interest periods and cash back are less enticing for millennials than sign-up bonuses or travel credits. The increase in credit card debt also comes at a time when the Federal Reserve has been increasing prime interest rates, which also affects consumer debt.
When people find themselves facing insurmountable debt burdens, they may not see a way forward. However, a bankruptcy attorney could provide advice and guidance on the available options that can help a debtor achieve debt relief.