Why individuals get bogged down in credit card debt

We have previously discussed the fact that the American public generally views debt differently in the wake of the 2008 economic downturn. After the economy crashed, many financially responsible Americans found themselves on the verge of foreclosure and/or on the verge of bankruptcy. Perhaps it should not have taken a massive economic downturn to teach Americans that individuals who are struggling financially are often financially responsible people, but it did teach the public that lesson to a certain extent.

However, the myth that one must be financially irresponsible to get bogged down in credit card debt seems to have persisted despite a public awakening to the nature of debt in general. The truth is that only some individuals find themselves overwhelmed by credit card debt because they lack a responsible approach to their finances.

Many individuals who struggle with significant credit card balances do so because something expensive has occurred in their lives unexpectedly. For example, when sudden illness or injury strikes a family, medical bills tend to pile up. When this occurs, oftentimes everyday necessities are forced onto credit cards in order to free up liquid income so that medical bills can be paid. Unexpected job loss also often leads to high credit card balances among financially responsible individuals.

It is important to understand the nature of debt and why individuals tend to experience overwhelming debts. When debt is understood, it becomes easier to address. For example, if you are struggling with overwhelming credit card debt you will be more likely to seek practical solutions with the help of an experienced attorney rather than feel shame and hide your situation if you understand that debt often happens to financially responsible Americans.

Source: Think Progress, “ No, People Don’t Get Buried In Credit Card Debt Because They’re Bad With Money,” Bryce Covert, May 10, 2014

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