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Why Florida residents are turning to credit cards

According to WalletHub, Americans accumulated $34.4 billion in credit card debt during the second quarter of 2016. That is thought to be the highest amount of debt accumulated in a second quarter since at least 1986. That was the first year such data was collected, and consumers may go over $1 trillion in outstanding debt balances by the end of 2016.

While some may assume that debt has risen because of irresponsibility, the true reason may be because of economic and social inequalities. A 2014 study found that households that have credit card debt are no more likely to be irresponsible with their money compared to those who have no such debt. Typically, a household was more likely to have this type of debt if it lacked health care or a member of that household lost his or her job.

Education also played a role in whether or not an individual used a had credit debt. Respondents of the 2014 study were 22 percent less likely to have a credit card balance if they had a college degree compared to those who only had a high school diploma. The Great Recession and the stagnant wages that resulted are also cited as playing a role in higher levels of credit card debt.

Individuals who are struggling to pay off their credit cards may want to consider filing for bankruptcy. A wage-earner plan under Chapter 13 may make it possible to pay off debts over the course of three to five and may be an option if an individual is not eligible for immediate discharge through Chapter 7. An lawyer can be helpful in outlining the eligibility and other requirements.

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