Although people began to spend more money in 2014 compared to 2013, they often used credit cards to pay for purchases, especially retail ones. A CardHub survey shows that in 2014, Americans in New Jersey and across the nation spent $57.1 billion on credit cards, an increase of almost 50 percent over 2013 credit card debt figures. Around 2009, consumers had been more careful with their spending as a result of the financial crisis in the United States. During this time, they were more concerned about paying down or off their debts.
Numbers from CardHub show that the amount of money going on credit cards has increased in the last five years. The average debt per household in the U.S. was $7,200 in 2014. Even though spending has gone up, fewer people are avoiding paying their credit cards. Statistics showed that in 2014, default rates were lower than in previous years.
CardHub predicts that the amount of money put on credit cards will continue to increase in 2015. The company estimates that credit card spending will be over $60 billion this year. In 2010, Americans put approximately $2.6 billion on credit cards, and the number reached over $46 billion by 2011. In 2012 and 2013, the numbers went down to under $40 billion.
When consumers amass large credit card debts that they cannot afford with their current financial situations, bankruptcy can offer them an option of a financial fresh start. When considering bankruptcy, a lawyer can help a debtor make sure they fill out the right paperwork with the courts and file for the type of bankruptcy that best fits their situation. Chapter 7 can allow individuals to rid themselves of their debts, but they take the chance of losing much in the process. Chapter 13 allows for a restructuring of debt with new terms for repayment. With Chapter 13, they can often keep many of their assets or belongings.
Source: CNBC, "Americans took on $57B in credit card debt in 2014," Jacob Pramuk, March 9, 2015