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Credit card debt increased in 2013, expected to rise in 2014


Credit cards make purchasing products easy. With a simple swipe of the plastic, it is possible to purchase just about any product without necessarily having the funds to pay for it. It is because of this ease, perhaps, that so many in Texas and throughout the U.S. struggle with credit card debt. Credit card debt can accrue quickly and once someone is caught in a web of debt, it is oftentimes difficult to escape.

There are new findings regarding credit card debt that some Texas residents may find alarming. According to reports, consumers' credit card debt is on the rise in the U.S. 2013 saw a $38.2 billion increase in outstanding credit card debt, which has led experts to expect a $41.2 billion increase in 2014.

What's more, at the present time the average household in the U.S. has $6,591 in credit card debt. In the fourth quarter of 2013 alone, U.S. consumers accumulated $42 billion in credit card debt, an 5% increase in relation to 2012. Also worth noting is that the amount of credit card debt that consumers defaulted on in the past five years is at $267 billion.

Some Texas residents may find these numbers staggering and the increasing credit card rate telling of the relationship Americans have with credit cards. Some may also count themselves among these statistics, in which case they may be looking for options.

One popular option for those looking to eradicate credit card debt is bankruptcy. With bankruptcy, there are two commonly employed types -- Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 -- which differ in what they require of debtors and how they eliminate debt. For example, Chapter 7 oftentimes requires debtors to liquidate assets in order to pay off their creditors. Chapter 13 bankruptcy, on the other hand, usually involves a repayment plan. Making decisions informed by legal expertise can help debtors pursue a bankruptcy option that best suits their situation.

Source: CPA Practice Advisor, "American Credit Card Debt Rises 8% in 2013," Isaac M. O'Bannon, March 13, 2014

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