If you feel as if you are drowning in credit card debt and you aren’t sure where to find relief, you aren’t alone. Credit card debt is one of the primary reasons people consider bankruptcy. The average American has between $15,000 and $20,000 worth of credit card debt and that number appears to be rising.
From a time when credit cards were used rarely and only for emergencies to today when people use them to maintain a lifestyle they couldn’t otherwise afford, credit cards have become a blessing and a curse, and for many, their financial downfall.
If you’re uncomfortable with your credit card debt or you’re already facing problems and you’re unable to afford your credit card payments – or worse, you’re being hounded by debt collectors – it might be time to take drastic action.
How Do You Get Mounting Credit Card Debt under Control?
There are several things you can do to get a grip on your credit card debt and hopefully avoid bankruptcy.
The first and most important step? Stop adding to your debt.
This might be the most difficult thing for you to do, but it’s absolutely necessary. You’ll never get your debt under control if it keeps growing larger and larger.
There are several things you can do to put an end to mounting debt.
Obviously, you’ll need to stop using your credit cards, which likely means reducing your expenses. Living within your means is an essential part of managing credit card debt. Doing so might require some serious soul-searching and life-changing measures, but you’ll need to end credit card use altogether.
Next, you should contact your credit card companies and see what they can do to help.
Chances are you’re paying a lot of money in interest, so reducing the interest rate can help you immediately and in the long run. Most credit card companies will consider negotiating a lower rate with you because they don’t want you to default. And if you’re forced to file for bankruptcy they likely won’t get any of the money they are owed, so most are willing to work with you to make payments possible.
To learn more about credit card interest, check out this information from Discover.com.
Another option you have is to transfer balances you have on high-interest cards to ones with lower interest rates. This doesn’t work for everyone, but it’s worth investigating to see if it might be beneficial for you.
You might also want to speak to your credit card companies about working out a payment plan. This can help with or without a reduction in the interest rate. Some credit card companies offer deferment of payments for a short period of time, while others will allow you to have a lower minimum payment. You might be paying on the debt for a longer period of time, but you won’t be at risk for defaulting in the immediate future.
Filing for Bankruptcy in Florida
If after exploring your options and finding that your changes did very little to help your financial situation, bankruptcy might be the best choice for you.
It can be especially beneficial for those with significant credit card debt that are also growing concerned about their homes or other assets. Bankruptcy can help you manage all aspects of your debt and in many cases, will prevent drastic measures from occurring.
If you’d like to know more about what you can do to better manage credit card debt or you have questions about bankruptcy, contact the Bankruptcy Law Office of Robert M. Geller at (813) 254-5696 to schedule a consultation.