For as much joy as the holiday season can bring, for many families, the end of the year can harbor something much darker — debt. Consumer debt tends to rise drastically around the end of the year as South Carolina families attempt to handle all of the end-of-year obligations. For many people, even moderate credit card debt can lead to years of financial insecurity.
In 2015, the average holiday shopper took on $986 in debt, and in 2016 that average rose to $1,003. Many consumers noted that they would only be able to make the minimum credit card payments, which can take years to pay off. On top of other debt, such as mortgages, rent and car loans, this can be devastating to families who are simply trying to survive.
This yearly debt accumulation is not done out of ignorance. One expert blames it on purchasing pressures that many consumers deal with on a regular basis. Many people also feel pressured to sign up for store credit cards when they are offered the opportunity to save 10 percent on a purchase. Unfortunately, stores rarely give clear information about how much the card’s interest rate will be.
Not everyone’s path to bankruptcy is the same. Some people are hit by financial disasters as the result of a medical emergency or an accident, plunging even the most well-prepared person into unimaginable debt. For others it is the slow accumulation of smaller debt, which makes it increasingly difficult to make necessary monthly payments. Either way, those in South Carolina who are no longer able to handle their insurmountable debt can create a more stable financial future by pursuing bankruptcy protection.
Source: khou.com, “Watch out for these holiday debt traps”, Kat Khoury, Nov. 22, 2017