Nicolet Law Office, S.C.

Staggering facts about credit card debt in America

Credit card can lead you into a debt hole that is difficult to get out of, especially if you are already on a tight budget. For people who do have credit cards, the temptation to use them is often great. If you are one of those people, but are also trying to get out of debt, knowing when to use your credit card is imperative.

According to NerdWallet, the average American household spends around $1,300 in interest payments each year. The average household has $132,529 in debt. When you think about those figures, you can see how this would be a problem for some people who are already under financial strain.

A different study was done by NerdWallet to determine what expenses were important enough to go into credit card debt. There were only two items that ranked high enough -- medical bills and emergency expenses. Necessities that occur during unemployment and necessities that regular income doesn't cover came in third and fourth, but those weren't ranked high enough to be considered acceptable reasons to go into debt.

In order to be considered an acceptable reason to go into credit card debt, at least 60 percent of respondents had to agree the expense was an acceptable reason. Emergency expenses came in at 63 percent, medical expenses came in at 61 percent. Necessities during unemployment came in much lower with only 45 percent, and necessities that income won't cover came in even lower at 36 percent.

This glimpse into what people think is acceptable for credit card usage is interesting. Still, some people just find the temptation too great. If you have found that you are in too much credit card debt, whether it accumulated for a good reason or from misuse, you should explore your options for dealing with the debt. Bankruptcy is one option to consider.

Source: The Motley Fool, "There Are Only 2 Acceptable Reasons to Go Into Credit Card Debt, New Survey Shows," Sean Williams, Feb. 06, 2017

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