Americans owe a total of $1.4 trillion in student loan debt as of the first quarter of 2019. That figure was provided by Experian, and it represents a 116% increase in student loan debt over the past 10 years. While this has caused a financial burden for many young people, it is not the only form of debt that they have.
Research has indicated that individuals between the ages of 23 and 34 have more credit card debt than student loan debt. Collectively, Americans repaid $38.2 billion in credit card debt during the first three months of 2019. However, WalletHub says that individuals will put another $70 billion on credit cards during 2019 alone. Currently, Americans owe over $1 trillion to credit card companies. Financial professionals point to many reasons why individuals rely so heavily on credit cards and are struggling to repay their balances.
Monetary policy and a relatively weak dollar relative to inflation are popular theories as to why credit card debt is increasing. Low interest rates and more money in circulation generally results in prices going up and the value of the dollar staying flat. However, some believe that if Americans were better educated about the financial consequences of credit cards, they would be able to more effectively manage their debt.
Individuals who are facing financial challenges related to credit card or other types of debt may have ways to overcome them. One option may be to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Doing so may make it possible to have certain unsecured debts discharged without making any payments. Other benefits of bankruptcy may include putting at least a temporary stop to creditor contact.