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Credit card debt rising to pre-recession levels

When families in South Carolina do not earn enough income to cover their monthly expenses, they sometimes rely on credit cards to bridge the gap. A new report by NerdWallet shows evidence that households are relying on credit cards more and more. According to the study, average credit card debt for US households is now at $16,061, almost as high as it was in 2008.

NerdWallet used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for its report. Researchers found that average household credit card debt has risen over the last few years, and Americans may soon owe more than they did at the beginning of the Great Recession. Since NerdWallet began tracking U.S. debt in 2002, average household debt has increased from $88,063 to $132,529.

Despite improvements in the economy, income growth has not kept pace with the cost of living for most people. While average household income has increased by 28 percent over the last 13 years, the cost of living has increased by 30 percent. Key household expenses have outpaced income growth more dramatically. Since 2003, housing costs have risen by 32 percent, food costs have risen by 36 percent and medical costs have risen by 57 percent.

After a person has already gone into a lot of credit card debt, a sudden loss of income or unexpected expense can be devastating. A person who can no longer afford to make their monthly credit card payments may want to speak with an attorney about filing for bankruptcy. Bankruptcy can help a debtor to receive relief from collection attempts for old credit card debts so that they can focus on their current living expenses.

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The Huggins Law Firm, PA

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