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Strategies that help seniors pay down credit card debt

Senior citizens in South Carolina often live on fixed incomes while attempting to pay off credit card balances. The National Council on Aging reported that credit card bills worry seniors almost as much as medical bills and utilities. To reduce their debts, financial experts recommend paying the bills with the highest interest rates first and avoiding late fees.

People who have multiple credit card bills should examine their interests rates and sort them from highest to lowest. The largest payments possible should be applied to balances accruing interest at the highest rates. Once those are paid off, debts with lower interest rates can be addressed more aggressively. Late fees can add up too, but they present an avoidable expense. To prevent late fees, people can set up automatic payments if keeping track of due dates proves difficult.

Seniors frequently have high credit card balances. For people age 65 and older, their average credit card debts total $6,351, which exceeds the average for all U.S. households that equals approximately $5,700. Younger retirees age 65 to 69 bear the most burden. Their average balances reach $6,876. Debts taper off for older retirees in the 75 and over group that owes $5,638 on average.

When a person believes that these debts might be insurmountable, a consultation with an attorney might provide insights into the management of credit card debt. After reviewing a person's income and debts, an attorney might determine that bankruptcy could relieve financial hardship. The person could discuss with the attorney the possibility of saving a home and maintaining a retirement income. The attorney could assist with all of the paperwork necessary for the bankruptcy court filing.

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The Huggins Law Firm, PA

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