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The prevalence of credit card debt

Just because buying things with plastic is easy does not mean that every Texas cardholder can pay off a credit card balance every month. Looking at national data from the Federal Reserve, total credit card debt amounted to $901 billion as of May 2015. This represents a 3.19 percent increase from the $839.5 billion in credit card balances from May 2014.

When the National Foundation for Credit Counseling examined the financial situation of the country, it found that approximately 35 million people maintained a minimum of $2,500 in credit card debt month after month. In fact, Nerdwallet calculated that the average credit card balance was $15,863 in July 2015.

The ability to pay off credit cards varies widely among households. A survey conducted by the lending platform Prosper reported that 37.4 percent of card holders pay their balances in full every month whereas 15.9 percent only make minimum payments. Awareness of the financial benefit of tackling these debts has expanded. Data from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling revealed that since 2009 the number of households that have credit card has dropped by 10 percent.

Although people are evidently trying to reduce their debts, many forces in life, such as job loss or illness, sometimes causes obligations to mount. A person in that situation might need to explore legal means of getting a fresh financial start. An attorney may describe the various options for eliminating debts through filing for bankruptcy or negotiating new payment plans. Legal counsel might be able to halt harassment from creditors and advise a client on which types of debts could be discharged by a bankruptcy court.

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