How can I recover financially?
A quarterly report issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reports that America's total debt dropped by $74 billion in the third quarter of last year; however, credit card debt rose by $2 billion during this same period. In fact, TransUnion reports that borrowers had an average of $4,996 in debt as of the third quarter of 2012. What is the cause of rising credit card debt? Experts attribute the problem to sluggish job growth and falling consumer confidence.
Fortunately, if you want to bring in the New Year with a solid financial plan, a few debt-reducing options can help you gain a fresh start. Before you evaluate your options, begin by assessing exactly how much debt you have. Once you have a good idea of your financial picture, you might utilize some of the following tactics to attack your outstanding balances.
If you have only a few thousand dollars in debt, you may try calling your credit card company to negotiate a repayment plan. The company may be willing to work with you; yet, this option may reduce your credit limit. Nevertheless, if you are only slightly behind on your finances, you might try to work out the issue directly with your service. They may provide options that can help you get back on track.
Some credit card companies allow consumers to transfer balances from other credit accounts. If this is the case, take note of the interest rate that you will be required to pay on a particular card. Transfer balances from cards with higher interest rates to a card with a low one. This will help reduce unnecessary additional expenses.
To help alleviate future debt, you might develop a savings plan. Set up your accounts so that you automatically transfer funds from your earnings into some form of investment. This will help establish your savings and eliminate your immediate access to this money, so you are less likely to splurge.
These are just a few options that could help you bounce back from a pattern of overspending. On the other hand, if you are completely drowning in credit card debt, Chapter 7 bankruptcy may be the best option. Chapter 7 bankruptcy allows a debtor to discharge some pre-existing credit card debts. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remove most unsecured debts within three months of your filing. Additionally, it will most likely stop other debt collection efforts, including foreclosures and wage garnishments.
However, the best way to attack your financial problems is to retain qualified assistance. A financial expert, such as a bankruptcy lawyer, can assess your financial situation and help determine the best course of action.
At Illini Legal Services, we offer a free, no-obligation consultation to each of our clients. During your consultation, we will take the time to listen to your financial concerns and assess your case and individual situation. We have five locations to serve you. Contact us today for help!
Illini Legal Services is engaged in the private practice of law and is not a public legal aid agency. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.