ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- When American credit card debt stood at $1.4 billion in 1967, the median income was $7,143, unemployment was 3.8%, the Dow Jones was ready to break the 1,000 mark, and a gallon of gas cost just thirty-three cents. Times were good and very few consumers, if any, thought unsecured credit bills would be a major issue in the years to come.
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Well, that was then, and this is now. By 1977, credit card debt hit $39 billion, only to top $169 billion ten years later in 1987. By the end of 2012, Americans now owe a staggering $858 billion and only mortgages and student loans are larger sources of household indebtedness. Do Americans have a plan to eliminate this out of control financial burden, or is credit card debt with us forever?
"The growth of consumer credit card debt has truly been a drag on both our personal and national economies," said Etta Money, President of InCharge Debt Solutions. "While the numbers can be overwhelming, there are some things every American can do to reduce and even eliminate this burden, and build for themselves and their families a sound financial future."
Getting started can be as simple as making good use of online calculator technology to answer these questions:
- What does a realistic monthly budget look like for me?
- How much do I really owe if I include all unsecured debt?
- How long will it take to pay off my credit cards?
- Will a debt roll down strategy work for me in paying off my credit cards?
- How much am I paying in credit card interest and is there another option?
- Should I consolidate my debt and what would be my monthly payment?
Consider these facts. If you owe $10,000 in credit card debt with an interest rate of 14.9%, and you pay $400 per month, it will take you over 30 months to pay off the debt after suffering through $2,400 in interest charges, and that's only if you stop adding any new credit card debt. If you are able to bump your monthly payment up to $600 and get a lower interest card, you could be done in 19 months and pay less than $1,200 in interest. Doing some "what ifs" using online calculators can help you create a solid financial roadmap for your future.
"Credit card debt doesn't have to haunt us forever, we can defeat it if we start today," said Ms. Money. "Use available online calculator technology to understand your true financial situation and apply as much as you can towards your debt each month. You and your family will be financially healthy much sooner than you ever thought possible."
InCharge Debt Solutions provides an array of certified counseling services including an alternative to debt consolidation that allows consumers to consolidate credit card bills into one monthly payment, pay debt off faster, lower interest rates regardless of credit score, stop collection calls, eliminate late fees and build a budget and financial plan to follow:
- Bankruptcy Education and Counseling: Take required pre-filing and pre-discharge courses and receive counseling from certified staff. Call 866-729-0049.
- Credit Counseling: Certified credit counselors give free, confidential counseling (online or by phone) and offer an alternative to debt consolidation through debt management programs and free budgeting assistance. Call 877-486-4924.
- Housing Counseling Services: Get help with HUD-approved foreclosure prevention, first-time homebuyer education and free counseling. Call 877-251-1882.
- Servicemember Help: Specialized help for military families facing financial difficulty. Call 877-258-9549.
- Online Counseling: Free, comprehensive web counseling provides budget building tool, analysis and available solutions from your computer. Visit: www.incharge.org.
About InCharge® Debt Solutions
Founded in 1997, InCharge® Debt Solutions is a leading 501(c)(3) non-profit, community-service organization offering confidential and professional credit counseling, housing counseling, debt management, bankruptcy education and general financial education to individuals seeking options to manage credit card debt and consolidate debt payment. The company, accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA) and a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), interacted with over 1.1 million consumers in 2012. InCharge is affiliated with InCharge® Education Foundation, Inc. (ICEF) which is dedicated to providing educational products, services and research supporting the personal financial literacy of consumers across America. ICEF also provides financial literacy training to servicemembers and their families through MilitaryMoney.com.
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InCharge® Debt Solutions
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