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Debt is growing once again

As Florida residents and Americans in general are feeling hopeful about the economy again after the Great Recession of a few years ago, they’re starting to rack up significant amounts of debt again. While the job market is fairly strong right now, there’s nothing that guarantees that there won’t be another economic downturn in the future. This is concerning since people have more debt than at any time since the last recession.

According to NerdWallet, U.S. households with credit card debt have balances exceeding $16,000. When mortgage debt is included, the average household that owes money to any type of lender owes $132,529.

There are a variety of sources of debt for Americans. One significant source of debt is from student loans as there is currently $1.3 trillion in unpaid loans, a number that continues to grow. People also, unsurprisingly, owe a significant amount of money to credit card companies; the amount of outstanding credit card debt is nearing $1 trillion dollars. Subprime auto loan debt and personal loans are also large contributors to the total amount of debt owed by those in the U.S.

When people are unable to pay back what they owe, one option available to them is to file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. The benefit of this type of filing is that it gives individuals more time to pay back what they owe, and they have a measure of control over what they’re required to send to creditors. Repayment plans are normally completed within three to five years, and some unpaid debt may be discharged at this point. A lawyer could explain the process for filing for Chapter 13 and the requirements people must meet to do so.

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