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U.S. credit card debt down in 2014, but due to defaults

Ohio residents who carry credit card debt could be interested in these facts according to the Federal Reserve. Total U.S. credit card debt as of September was $881.8 billion. U.S. mortgages and student loan debts are the first and second highest U.S. consumer debt, but credit cards are a close third. Households with such debts typically owe and average $15,608.

According to some measures, total U.S. credit card debt was down 3.33 percent when compared to the previous year. U.S. household average credit card debt was down 2.50 percent between the two periods. However, the decrease in indebtedness is mostly caused by defaults on credit card debt.

According to some estimates, the average amount of credit card debt per household increased to a peak of close to $19,000 during the recession. By contrast, the percentage of households that actually held credit card debt dropped from close 48 percent to close to 43 percent. Then, in 2011, the numbers leveled off and remained relatively constant until the present. The percentage of homes with credit debt increased to between 46 percent and 47 percent, and the average amount of credit debt per household dropped to between $15,000 and $16,000.

When an individual or a family finds that they are buried under a large amount of credit card debt, they might not know where to turn for advice. A bankruptcy attorney could help by advising the consumers regarding how to proceed when seeking federal protections. In addition, an attorney could suggest settling with the credit card companies for less than the total amount owed or negotiating a payment plan. There are a number of methods for dealing with credit card debt and a consultation with an attorney could help consumers to know their options.

Source: Nerd Wallet, "American Household Credit Card Debt Statistics: 2014", Tim Chen, December 05, 2014

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