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Credit card debt looms for many Florida residents

Many Florida residents use credit cards for necessities, such as gas and groceries. While some people do this intentionally, with plans to pay off their balances each month and reap card perks, others are carrying balances month to month because they are stretched too thin. Many such individuals not only grapple with credit card debt, but also a lack of savings to use in case of emergencies.

Bankrate.com recently reported that more than one in four Americans have more credit card debt than money tucked away in an emergency account. The survey found that 28 percent of people find themselves in this financial predicament. This is a four percent increase compared to last year's survey findings.

In fact, several recent studies have shown that consumer debt is rising as the rate of personal savings is dropping. In essence, many Americans are increasing their spending even though they may not be able to afford this. Expenses remain high for many Floridians, while incomes have not increased in very many households and unemployment remains a significant problem.

Credit card debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy. Credit cards tend to have high interest rates and fees, and the frequent use of credit cards can lead to overwhelming debt, especially for those who may not have sufficient savings accounts.

Bankruptcy is one way individuals can get out from underneath crushing credit card debt, often while protecting their homes and retirement plans. Those who are struggling with credit card debt here in Florida may benefit from talking to a bankruptcy attorney about their options.

Source: CBS News, "Close to half of Americans have more credit card debt than savings," Constantine Von Hoffman, Feb. 18, 2014

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