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Credit card debt in South Carolina grows with national debt

While the nation is struggling to recover from a years-long economic recession, the threat of debt still looms over Americans everywhere. Here in South Carolina and elsewhere throughout the United States, credit card debt continues to balloon, based on the findings of a second-quarter debt study. It is important for Americans to understand the nature of debt in order to avoid it entirely, or failing that, to deal with mounting debt effectively and in the best interests of their fiscal futures.

According to the study, conducted by CardHub, U.S. residents as a whole racked up a staggering $17 billion in credit card debt over the past fiscal quarter. This effectively erased half the total pay down of the previous quarter's debt, inciting many experts to point out the "one step forward, two steps back" effect in play. Called the "pay down, ring up" pattern, this cycle has been in effect since the early days of the recession back in 2008.

Since 2009, consumers across the country have charged an incredible $250 billion to credit card companies, so much so that the average household now carries $6,700 in debt to one or more of the major lenders. Experts attribute this to customers living outside their means. This unsustainable practice is not conducive to a healthy financial life, many experts have agreed.

Credit card debt is among the most difficult types of debt to discharge. South Carolina residents who are just able to pay their minimum amounts may face years or even decades of paying down debt. It is therefore important to keep in mind the options available to consumers struggling with debt, from restructuring to bankruptcy, that can help set them on a more positive fiscal path.

Source: bizjournals.com, American consumers ring up $17 billion in new credit card debt in second quarter, W. Scott Bailey, Sept. 10, 2013

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