Credit Card Advice in Massachusetts
Massachusetts is one of the most populated states in the USA. According to the 2008 census, Massachusetts housed 6,497,967 individuals. Its four largest cities are Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell and Cambridge, and most of its population of 6.4 million lives in the Boston metropolitan area. The population for the state has seen dramatic increases over the past few years, and that coupled with a significant decline in the economy has yielded an immense amount of debt in the state as the average citizens owes more than $7,600 in credit card debt, a high number compared to the national average.
Since there has been a great increase of population in Massachusetts, it is acceptable that there will also be a decrease in employment. This only means one thing - huge percentages of people without jobs who don't have any money to pay off their debts. As people run out of money, they are forced to use their credit cards for payment on various necessities, but without jobs, none of the debts that emerge can be paid off. One of the factors behind this credit card debt is unemployment because it causes a downward trend of needing money and not being able to pay it back. Massachusetts has an 8.8 percent unemployment rate, which is close to the national average. As the population continues to rise though, that rate is expected to decrease and thus the amount of debt per consumer will undoubtedly increase.
The concept of a credit card is one of the greatest things that man has ever come up with, but this wondrous device is matched by drastic risks of falling into more debt than most people can get out of. A credit card allows a person to purchase what he needs when he needs it without having cash in hand. Because it is so easy to use and own multiple credit cards, many people tend to make purchases beyond their capacity. This is where credit card debt usually takes place.
High interest rates also end up fueling people's debt, though both low and high rates have their downsides. A low interest rate saves people money when they choose not to spend any money, but in the same light, people see those low interest rates as an excuse to spend money as they don't think the consequences of their actions will be as severe. Massachusetts has an average APR of 12.72%, which is actually quite moderate for the country. The high amount of debt in the state is most likely impacted by this low number as people spend more than they can without risking much money lost because of high interest rates. This is great for people who manage their debts wisely, but for those who try to beat the system, this is a mess waiting to happen.
Credit card debt seems to be a normal phenomenon for every credit card user. Nowadays, credit card debts and other form of unsecured debts can make your life miserable as they seem to pile up without ever going away. These debts may destroy your present and future financial status, as well as affect your health by making you stressed, worried, and in constant pressure. Whenever you do default, your credit card issuer will normally make an increase in your interest rate, charge you more, and worse, they will report you to credit agencies. These credit agencies will then put a black marking on your credit ratings, which will only worsen the situation. In the end, debt is a hard thing to get out of, no matter where you are in the country.
Credit card debt should not be a hindrance to your future plans, but sometimes it feels that way because you can't figure out how to overcome it. When you feel that having credit card debt has been obstructing you from freedom, you must think of engaging in credit card debt consolidation. Debt consolidation involves you selecting a single loan to pay for all of your remaining credit card debt loans in one easy payment. This process involves a consultation with a credit counselor, during which you sit down and determine what your best options are to reduce or eliminate your debt.
Before you get into debt consolidation, you may want to consider some tools offered at our site that will help you pay off your credit card debt on your own. You could use the debt optimizer that we have to choose which credit card you want to pay off first, and you can follow that up with our roll down option which will carry your payments towards your credit cards over once you have paid one of the cards off. Any excess funds go to the next card on the list until everything is paid off.
Overall, you shouldn't have to worry about your debt too much if you know how to manage it properly. You have to determine what fixed payments you have every month, like car payments or mortgages, and then you need to allot money for variable debts like credit card bills, cell phone payments, and any grocery costs. If you budget your money well enough, you should be able to start saving enough money to eliminate your credit card debt. Try to pay either your highest interest credit card off first or the one that you owe the most money to as either will increase your overall debt more than others. In time, you'll get down to a few small payments to make, and then you'll be free of credit card debt.
If you live in Massachusetts and have fallen into some sort of credit card debt, don't feel that you are alone. The entire nation has been affected by the recession, and the Nilson Report says that as of 2008, more than 78 percent of American households have to use at least one credit card to make it nowadays. The Experian national score index indicates that more than 51% of Americans have at least two cards, and a percentage of that population holds more than ten cards at one time. Times are tough, and often the only way to combat tough times is by making tough decisions. Choosing to use a credit card isn't always ideal, but sometimes you just don't have a choice in the matter.
The Nilson Report also states that more than $972 billion dollars in credit card debt exist in the country as a whole. Massachusetts only represents a small fraction of that number. In time, the economy should pick up as it always does and people will be able to get out of these difficult debt situations. In the mean time, the best thing you can do for yourself and your family is manage your debt and maintain your credit score. If you have a chance to, try to reduce and eliminate the debt that you have so that you won't have much to pay during a healthy economy. In Massachusetts, you get the good fortune of having a low annual interest rate on your card so that you don't fall into as much debt as the rest of the country. Use that to your advantage and help yourself get back out of muddy, debt-ridden waters.
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State Guides to Credit Card Laws
- North Carolina
- West Virginia