Credit cards often seem like a lifeline when people in South Carolina have trouble making ends meet. While lines of credit can be invaluable tools for building a credit report or making sure there is food on the table, they can also impose a heavy burden. As household debt recently hit a record high, some economists worry that more consumers might be struggling with staggering monthly bills.
Many households in South Carolina and around the country use credit cards as part of their overall financial resources. If used properly, they can be a valuable tool in a family's budget. However, many consumers accumulate a large amount of credit card debt by paying only the minimum due each month. Unfortunately, unless action is taken to break this cycle, the debt will continue to grow. Financial experts suggest several tactics for reducing or eliminating credit card debt.
Having a credit card in one's wallet may provide a sense of security. What if one has an emergency, runs short of cash or comes across an unbeatable bargain? However, according to new data from the Federal Reserve, many in South Carolina and across the country may be placing themselves in financial jeopardy by carrying a high balance on those credit cards.
Most people have heard the advice that it is best to pay off any credit card balance monthly. However, for those who must use their cards regularly for household expenses or are maxed out because of an emergency, that may be an impossible task. Those in South Carolina dealing with multiple credit cards with high balances and outrageous interest may already know they are in trouble, but for those who are uncertain, financial advisors warn of these indicators.
Credit cards have their advantages. They are a convenient way to get the things consumers need or want when they are short of cash. People in South Carolina may use their cards for daily expenses like groceries or eating out, or they may save their available balances for vacations or back-to-school shopping. However, consumer advocates warn that carrying too much credit card debt means risking serious financial consequences.
Financial advisors often warn consumers never to charge more than they can pay off right away. Though many may open credit card accounts with the intention of following that advice, it often becomes too tempting -- or necessary – to pay only the minimum amount and carry a balance. This is why millions of Americans, including many in South Carolina, are trying to manage credit card debt that has gotten out of control.
Credit card debt is one of the most common financial burdens for people in South Carolina and across the country. In fact, statistics show that the average family carries a credit card balance of about $16,000. This may be spread over multiple cards. More startling is new research showing that many Americans may have a psychological block preventing them from paying down their debt.
For many people, shopping is relaxing and satisfying. Even when money is tight, people in Columbia, South Carolina, walk the mall or scroll through websites looking for a good deal. This is because consumers seem to be more liberal with their credit cards than in recent years. According to a report from WalletHub, credit card debt is soon expected to pass the trillion-dollar mark.
Strong emotions, whether they are excitement or stress, seem to drive Americans to overspend. Almost half the people in the country admit to emotional spending. If someone in South Carolina is low on cash, it is common for him or her to pull out the credit card and charge whatever is desired. This may make a person feel better until the credit card debt becomes overwhelming.
If you are like most people in the country, you spend an average of about $98 a day. You may not even think about it when you pull the credit card from your wallet to make those purchases. Whether it is a new TV or dinner out, Americans are using their credit cards more freely than ever before.