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Study shows large portion of Americans with credit card debt

Tennesseans who are in debt are in that position for a variety of reasons. In many cases, they will think they are alone. But, it might be beneficial to understand the statistics of debt -- particularly credit card debt -- is affecting a significant number of Americans. When the debts have become overwhelming, people must also be aware that they have alternatives, such as personal bankruptcy and other forms of debt relief to improve their situation.

According to a study from, about 43 percent of adults have credit card debt that has been in place for at least two years. That comes to approximately 29 million people. More than half have had the debt for at least five years. This is a growing issue across the nation and has led to the belief that a large portion of debtors will not be able to pay it back. A greater number of people have accrued credit card debt than they have debt from mortgages.

Baby boomers between the ages of 63 and 71 are the likeliest to have a balance for two years. They came in at 63 percent. People who are 72 and older - also known as the "silent generation" - are next at 57 percent. What is troublesome to many debtors is how quickly it can accumulate and, without warning, turn into a long-standing problem. Many say that their debt accumulation stems not from exorbitant purchases of goods they do not need, but from daily essentials like food and utilities.

There might also be a perception that people who have less income and education get into debt more rapidly. However, the research shows that people who have full-time jobs, higher education and more income are the ones who are getting into debt. The study spoke to more than 2,000 people in the U.S. to come to its conclusions. When credit card debt reaches a level, at which the person cannot pay it back in a reasonable time frame, if ever, and cannot live with the financial peril, personal bankruptcy is an option. A legal professional experienced in assisting those who have found themselves in heavy credit card debt can help in determining the best way to move forward.

Source:, "43% of Americans Carry Credit-Card Debt for at Least 2 Years," John Harrington, Sept. 28, 2017

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Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.
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