If we're lucky, from the time we join the workforce until the time we retire, our income increases. With that comes lifestyle inflation. It's only natural at first that people will want to move out of their post-college studio apartment, sell their used car, invest in a better wardrobe and take vacations to Europe instead of a drive to the Jersey Shore.
American consumer debt rate has once again returned to pre-2008 levels and many find themselves once again encumbered by record-setting credit card debt. The first step in figuring out how to tackle it involves you sitting down will your bills, making note of your balances, the minimum payments and interest rates for them.
If you're in your 30s and feel like you'll be paying off your student loan debt into your senior years, you may be right. Some 27 percent of those paying off their student loans are in their 60s or older. More than two-thirds of borrowers are paying off loans they took out or co-signed on for their children and grandchildren. This age group is the fastest-growing demographic of people with student loans.
We've all received those mailings inviting us to consolidate all of our credit card debt into one low-interest credit card or to get a home equity or other loan to consolidate our debts. The temptation to consolidate debts so that you don't have to worry about making a multitude of payments every month can be irresistible, particularly if you're told that you can save money on fees and interest.
Americans' federal student loan debt is now at a whopping $1.4 trillion dollars. That debt is owed by about 44 million borrowers. There's no telling yet how borrowers will be impacted by the changes the Trump administration is considering to the federal student loan program,
Most of us don't plan on ending up in an emergency room. Often, you don't even realize that you've been transported there until you wake up on a gurney in a hospital gown. As anyone who has experienced this knows, emergency room bills can be costly, even after your insurance pays its portion.
As we've discussed here before, medical debt is one of the leading causes of bankruptcy. Even a medical bill of $2,000 after an insurer has paid its share of your bill can be an unexpected expense that many Americans simply can't handle.
Unpaid medical bills from an accident or illness that wind up in collection can really tank an otherwise adequate credit score. Consumers can avoid fiscal disaster by remaining proactive about their finances.
In a previous blog post, we discussed some strategies you can use to work with a collection agency regarding debt. When this doesn't happen or if you are unable to pay for the bill, you might decide that you need to seek out other options for debt relief. We want you to know that you do have legal options to get a fresh financial start.
If your debt has ended up in collections and you're dealing with an agency for the first time, you may not know what to expect or what to do next. Below are a few tips that can help.