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Tricks to paying off credit card debt in retirement

One issue that retirees in Florida or elsewhere may encounter is excessive credit card debt. Those who are age 65 or older owe an average of $6,351 with those between the ages of 65 and 69 owing $6,876 on average. To put that number into perspective, it is more than twice as much as the maximum Social Security benefit an individual can receive in a month.

However, there are ways in which retirees can get a handle on their credit card debt. First, it may be a good idea to focus on balances with the highest interest rate. In some cases, an individual can have more than one interest rate on a single card depending on how it was used. For example, there may be one rate for purchases and other rates for getting a cash advance or transferring a balance to that card from another card.

It may also be easier to tackle credit card debt by avoiding fees. Late fees can be costly, but it might be possible to have a fee waived if people have generally paid on time for many months or years. This is what is referred to as a good faith adjustment. Once the current debt has been paid, individuals should make a point to pay off any new balances in full at the end of each billing cycle.

A personal bankruptcy may be an effective means of obtaining debt relief. Under a Chapter 13 plan, an individual may be able to keep property during the repayment period that lasts either three or five years. An attorney may be able to explain additional benefits of such a decision such as the end of creditor calls or letters as well as the possibility of negotiating new loan terms with secured creditors.

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