Tuesday, October 11, 2005

America in Debt. Plastic or Paper? Can American Families Pull Themselves Out of Debt?

Credit card debt is becoming an overwhelming problem for the American family, with the average household mired in about $10,000.00 worth of credit card debt. Is there a way out?

(PRWEB) October 10, 2005 -- Our National Debt isn't the only debt on the rise in The United States of America. It is estimated that the average household with at least one credit card has close to $10,000.00 in credit card debt. It gives "paper or plastic?" an entirely new meaning, with most of America putting their purchases on the plastic.

It seems that credit card companies come out with more and more alluring offers all the time to pull the public in, like "Only 8.25% APR for the fist year", or "Make no payments for 90 days!" These days you can even go into a McDonalds or Burger King and use your credit card to get a hamburger. Credit cards have been implemented so many places, and all have such alluring offers, it is much like waving the proverbial carrot in front of a rabbit, driving Americans further and further into debt, but with a renewed mindset, there is a way to get out from the curtain of debt, and achieve financial solidity.

First, one must establish financial guidelines for themselves and learn to make smarter choices. Try not to use a credit card to pay for things you use or consume rapidly, such as meals and vacations, especially if you can't afford to pay off your monthly bills in full within a month or two. That is a sure fire way to find yourself in debt fast. Instead, train yourself to put aside some cash each month for these items so you can pay the bill in full. Try hard to avoid interest charges, and pay your balance in full when you can.

One of the toughest aspects of keeping yourself out of debt is being able to establish the difference between "needs" and "wants". Everyone likes expensive items, but one must ask themselves if they are financial capable of affording it at that moment. It is far wiser to save up for that item, instead of adding horrible credit card finance charges (many of which are close to or exceed 20% APR) driving the original price of the purchase even higher. Avoid paying just the minimum owed on your cards.

If you just pay the minimum due on credit card bills, you will barely cover the interest you owe. It will take you years to pay off your balance and an individual will end up spending thousands of dollars more than the original amount charged. Sitting down with your family and creating a monthly budget can ultimately help keep debt down, and allow the opportunity to save money.

If you feel that you have more debt than you can manage, there are numerous reputable debt consolidation and management agencies that can consolidate your debt and are able to assist you with your finances. Don't let the burden of debt weigh heavy on your shoulders. With the right mind set, and possibly some outside help from a debt consolidation service, you can reclaim your financial freedom.

About the author - Matthew Knepper has been writing financial and educational related articles for the past four years.



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