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Americans on track to end year with 8 percent more debt

Ask anyone in Trenton and they will tell you what we all already know: life is expensive. From rent or mortgage payments to the cost of raising a child to medical bills, it is no wonder that so many people are in debt. What was once something that carried considerable shame, credit card debt is a reality for many people in New Jersey. And while we eliminated $32.5 billion of credit card debt last quarter, we will likely add $42 billion in credit card debt by the end of the year.

The fight against credit card debt and, really, any debt can be slow going and difficult. Creditors may harass you until you pay. It may take years to pay off things that you absolutely needed. All the while, a figure is sitting over your head as to how much you still owe.

Sometimes it is just impossible to pay off credit card debt. If that is the case, you can always file for bankruptcy, but there may be other options, too. For one, many bankruptcy attorneys are willing to call creditors to try to establish a debt workout plan that would give you more time to make your payments. Credit card companies may also be willing to waive some of the debt that they hold. So, while bankruptcy would eliminate almost all of you debt, it may be worthwhile to first explore other options.

Debt is certainly a widespread problem. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has estimated that consumer debt, of which credit card debt forms a part, has reached $11.52 trillion.

Source: Time, "The Credit Card Bomb Just Waiting to Go Off," Martha C. White, June 11, 2014

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