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Schwartz Bankruptcy Law Center

Americans and Debt

According to NerdWallet Finance, the average household credit card debt as of September 2014 is over $15,000. In total, that is over $11 trillion. That figure doesn't even include student debt and mortgages. That's kind of insane, right? Maybe you have more debt, and maybe you have less.

During better economic times (prior to 2008), debt was not as big of a deal - or at least it was more easily resolved. A much better income to inflation ratio allowed consumers to pay off debt in a reasonable amount of time. These days, inflation is increasing more rapidly.

Another commonly debated factor affecting debt is minimum wage. Of course, everyone wants to be paid a decent wage and companies would like to pay workers more, but the ability to do so and remain solvent as a business is a hard model in some industries. When inflation rises every year and incomes remain the same, average Americans suddenly can't afford what they used to.

Luckily, there are some tips you can follow to get out of debt, regardless of your income.

  • Create a savings cushion before you pay off anything.
  • Consolidate your debt for a lower interest rate.
  • Take advantage of finance apps from businesses like Mint.com to reach your payment goals.
  • Get creative with making money. Everyone is having to work smarter and harder these days. Keep on the lookout for ways you can effectively decrease your debt load.
  • Stay current with insurance. Unpaid medical bills are one of the fastest ways to go into debt.
  • Consider bankruptcy. If the burden of debt is too much, talk to a bankruptcy attorney in Indiana to see if bankruptcy would be appropriate.

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