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Nation’s credit card debt ballooned in 2017

| Jan 26, 2018 | Chapter 7 |

Many Tyler residents likely made a new year’s resolution to get a handle on their credit card debt. The phenomenon is occurring across the country: a recent study projects that Americans added a total of $50 billion in credit card debt over the course of the past year. Collectively, we owe $1 trillion in credit card debt.

Here in the city of Tyler, according to the study, residents owe an average of nearly $6,000 on their credit cards. That sum will take the typical borrower more than five years to pay off and cost over $2,500 in interest. Other cities didn’t fare even as well as Tyler: some owed an average of as much as $7,100. The lowest-debt city in the study still carried over $1,000 per person on average.

Strategies for paying off credit card debt abound. Creating a budget and sticking to it; keeping an eye on financial statements; and paying off higher-interest cards first are all well advised. However — especially for those residents who owe far more than the $6,000 average — these may not begin to adequately address the problem. Sometimes, even making one’s minimum credit card payments is not feasible, let alone paying more than the minimum on any particular card.

In these situations, it is worth taking a look at the benefits that can come along with filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Chapter 7, or liquidation bankruptcy, can truly get borrowers out from under crushing credit card debt. It can provide a fresh financial start much more quickly than the years (or even decades) that it would take to pay off credit card debt by making just the minimum monthly payments. A legal professional can even advise residents on how they may be able to hold onto their homes and other assets during the Chapter 7 process.

Source: WHIO, “Americans projected to break credit card debt record,” Rachel Murray, Jan. 18, 2018