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Advice for Florida residents struggling with credit card debt

Many Florida residents have multiple credit cards. And while this is true for most Americans, it's also true that many rely on these credit cards as a way to get by and make every day purchases. This in turn can lead to serious credit card debt problems.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are roughly 1.4 billion credit cards currently held by consumers. This amounts to an average of 7.7 credit cards per person. These credit cards are used for more than 20 billion transactions a year totaling about $1.9 trillion in debt.

When broken down by person, the average consumer swipes their card almost 120 times a year. Each purchase averages around $88. This means that many are putting more than $10,000 a year on a credit card, and in many cases, these purchases aren't being paid off immediately. This equates to even more money spent on interest rates and leads to more debt.

When looking at paying down credit card debt, the most important thing is to first realize how much you owe. This could mean making a list of all of your debts, along with the interest rate that each card carries.

From here, if you realize that some of the cards have a high interest rate, contact your lender about possibly reducing that rate. If this isn't possible, also look into what the positives and negatives would be if you decided to transfer all of your debt onto the card with the lowest interest rate. If this is not possible - or transfer fees are too high - pay off those credit cards with the highest interest rates first.

However, if you are someone with just too much debt and not enough income to actually pay off what is owed, instead of worrying yourself sick, talk with a legal professional to learn about what debt relief options may be available to get you back on the road to financial freedom.

Source: CBS, "Managing Credit: Too Much Of A Good Thing," April 20, 2012

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