Category: Managing Your Debt

Average U.S. Credit Card Debt Statistics

The average credit card balance per person in the United States was $6,194 in 2019—an increase of 3% compared to 2018, according to Experian’s annual Consumer Credit Review.1 Credit card debt is a common issue in the U.S. More than two-thirds of Americans have credit cards, and it’s the fastest-growing type...
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5 Ways Debt Consolidation Can Hurt Your Credit

If your credit card bills are piling up and you just can’t juggle anymore, a balance-transfer card or loan can consolidate your debt. Combining your outstanding balances can simplify repayment, reduce stress, and most importantly, save you money on interest over time. But this approach can ding your credit...
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10 Signs You Have Too Much Debt

If you’re struggling to make debt payments or your payments are so high that you can’t accomplish much else, you may have too much debt. Even if you can manage your payments, having too much debt can lead to other financial problems like not being able to save money,...
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What Happens to Credit Card Debt When You Die?

Death is one of those unpleasant certainties in life. With credit card debt, you may have additional anxiety about how debts are handled after your death. You may worry about who is responsible for repaying the debt or if the loan will be forgiven upon your death. The simplest...
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Go Through Credit Counseling

Some companies specialize in negotiating with creditors on your behalf. Debt management plans through these credit counseling agencies typically last four to six years.9 Your debt won’t disappear overnight, but you may get a lower interest rate. The credit counseling agency will handle your debt payments, so if you...
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Settle With Your Creditors

Debt settlement may be a solution if your accounts are past due or you owe more money than you could repay over a few years. When you settle your debts, you ask the creditor to accept a one-time, lump-sum payment to satisfy the debt. Creditors who agree to a settlement...
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Cash out a Life Insurance Policy

You may have accumulated some cash in your whole or universal life insurance policy that you can put toward your debt. Like tapping retirement funds, this is a risky strategy that can come with tax consequences.7 Borrowing from your insurance policy is also an option, but it may affect the death benefit your...
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Withdraw From Your Retirement Fund

In extreme cases, you may consider pulling money from your retirement account to pay off your debt. Beware, if you’re not at least 59½, you’ll face early withdrawal penalties and additional tax liability. The specific penalty you’ll face depends on the retirement account you draw from and how you...
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Look for Ways to Put More Money Towards Your Debt

The more money you put toward your debt, the faster you can pay off your debt for good. If you don’t already have one, create a monthly budget to better manage your money. Seeing all your expenses detailed in a budget can also help you figure out how you...
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Ask Your Creditor for a Lower Interest Rate

Higher interest rates keep you in debt longer because so much of your payment goes toward the monthly interest charge and not toward your actual balance. However, interest rates can be negotiable, and you can ask your credit card issuers to lower your interest rate.4 Creditors do this at...
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