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Consumer debt tops $13 trillion

Data published by credit reporting agency Equifax indicates that people in Mississippi and across the country owe $13.5 trillion in total consumer debt. Of that debt, more than $1 trillion is owed by people between the ages of 18 and 29. This debt is primarily made up of student loans, but it also includes credit card debt, mortgage debt, auto loans and other types of consumer debt. The last time people in this demographic owed over $1 trillion was just before the 2008 financial crisis during the fourth quarter of 2007.

The data was gathered and put out by Equifax and the Fed Consumer Credit Panel of New York. People between the ages of 30 and 39 owe $2.9 trillion. The demographic owing the most in consumer debt is people between 40 and 49, who owe a total of $3.4 trillion. Those between the ages of 50 and 59 are not far behind, owing $3.2 trillion, according to the data.

People over 70 years of age have roughly the same amount of outstanding debt as young people between 18 and 29 at $1 trillion. People between 60 and 69 owe around $2 trillion. The type of debt affecting the most borrowers is student loan debt, which more than 44 million people carry. The U.S. Secretary of Education has said there is a student loan debt crisis. Some research indicates that 40 percent of those with student loan debt might default by the year 2023.

Individuals who are struggling to pay their debts might want to schedule a consultation with a lawyer. An attorney with experience practicing bankruptcy law may examine the facts of the person's situation and suggesting options to reduce or eliminate debt. Filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy triggers an automatic stay, suspending collections efforts by creditors.

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