O'Brien Law Firm, LLC - Bankruptcy

Don’t risk your future. We provide knowledgeable, versatile legal services to the Greater Memphis Area.

Some traps can increase credit card debt

Far too many people in Mississippi struggle with credit card debt on an ongoing basis. When it is difficult to make ends meet, many people turn to credit cards to cover the gaps. Of course, it can then be even harder to keep up with existing expenses while trying to pay back the credit card bills. Credit card companies also urge customers to take on more debt. However, by keeping some tips in mind, people can help to resist these advances.

Across the country, consumer revolving debt, including credit card debt, stands at $1.037 trillion. Many credit card companies’ tactics inspire people to increase their debt burden, but that can come with a significant cost to consumers. Credit card rewards programs bill themselves as ways to benefit consumers for using the card. Sometimes, they can be a good choice, so long as people have the money to pay off the bill at the end of the month. But some programs can help people rack up debt; for example, one program allows people to buy a plane ticket now, but obtain the miles to cover it later through card purchases. If a customer doesn’t rack up miles, however, he or she will have to pay to buy the miles on credit.

In other cases, people may get in trouble due to late payments. After someone is more than 60 days late on a payment, a credit card issuer can apply a penalty rate to that person’s entire balance. This means that an APR can skyrocket to 29.99 percent across the board, making the debt even more difficult to surmount.

Consumers are often looking for debt relief, especially when their financial situation becomes unsustainable. A bankruptcy lawyer might be able to help people to review their options to move forward toward a new financial future, including personal bankruptcy or other negotiated alternatives.