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Credit card debt declining since 2009

A new study suggests the overall amount of credit-based debt carried by Americans is on the decline on a month-to-month basis. South Carolina residents join citizens from across the country in bringing down their existing credit card debt on a monthly basis, though most people polled still carry a balance. While this is good news in the big picture, it still falls to individuals carrying debt to discharge it effectively.

The 2014 Financial Literacy Survey polled a select group of Americans representing broad demographics about their spending habits and understanding of finances. The results showed that while Americans are improving their debt standing, many of them still do not have the tools necessary to build out a workable financial plan in the long-term. This is of some concern to the study's authors.

The number of people who carry credit debt month-to-month is down 10 percent from 2009, according to the study, but the poll's other findings are somewhat more of a concern. Apparently, 32 percent of individuals fear not having enough money set aside for a "rainy day" or for retirement, and over half the polled population has not checked their credit score in the last 12 months. According to the authors of the study, this points to a need for enhanced financial education for Americans the nation over.

While lowering credit card debt is a laudable goal, and a necessary one on the road to financial security, it is not the only issue at hand. South Carolina residents can benefit from learning how to budget effectively, as well as learning about alternative options for dealing with heavy debt. Consolidation and bankruptcy can help those in unmanageable financial scenarios.

Source: acainternational.com, "Fewer Households Report Month-to-Month Credit Card Debt", , April 20, 2014

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