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Credit card debt soars to a new high

Credit cards are more common than ever. People use them for everything from online purchases to buying gas at the pump.

It may come as no surprise, then, to learn that credit card debt just hit $1.027 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. That's the highest it's ever been in American history.

Statistics also show that not all Americans use credit cards. However, about 70 percent of adults carry them. However, the increase no doubt still connects to an ever-growing population, as well as spending habits.

It's also worth noting that the annual percentage rate (APR) charged on credit card debt is higher than ever. In early August, it hit 16.13 percent, on average -- soaring past the 15.29 percent average that was set previously as the all-time high.

So, Americans have more overall debt and they're paying more for it. While there are ways to use credit cards responsibly, that does suggest that many people could be heading for bankruptcy, facing insurmountable debt that they can never pay off thanks to the high interest rates.

Some industry experts don't think these trends are going to end soon. They believe that the debt will continue to climb, interest rates could also climb and the potential for bankruptcy will always be there.

Have you gotten into debt and thinking that there's no way out? Maybe it started small and then grew over time until it was overwhelming. If so, be sure that you know about all of the legal options that you have and what to do moving forward to help get your financial life in order.

Source: The Motley Fool, "Credit Card Debt Just Hit an All-Time High -- and So Did Credit Card Interest Rates," Sean Williams, Aug. 12, 2017

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At the law offices of William H. Oliver, Jr. & Associates in Toms River and Lakewood, New Jersey, we represent clients in Toms River, Neptune, Trenton, Middletown, Red Bank, Wall, Lakewood, Lakehurst, Manchester, Asbury Park, Old Bridge, Jamesburg, Barnegat, Forked River, Manahawkin, Ocean Township, Brick, Manasquan, Howell, Freehold, Hazlet, Bradley Beach, Brown Mills, Long Branch, Keansburg, Marlboro, Bayville, Beachwood, Whiting, Sayreville, South River, East Brunswick, Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Burlington County and Mercer County.