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Consumers taking on debt at higher levels

Ohio residents who are struggling with debt will not be surprised to learn that they are not the only ones who are. According to a new survey taken by a consumer financial services company, nearly 30 percent of Americans have more in credit card debt than they do in savings. Seventeen percent said they have neither savings nor credit card debt. Another 51 percent said they have enough savings to pay off their credit cards. That is the lowest recorded level for people who can pay off their credit card debt since the annual survey started in 2011.

It has been noted that consumers have had a difficult time finding debt relief because of prevailing economic conditions like high household expenses, persistent unemployment and stagnant incomes. Further compounding the situation, consumer debt seems to be growing. Another report said that consumer debt grew by 2.1 percent in the last quarter of 2013.

Some financial advisers say that an increase in debt often accompanies a more optimistic outlook about the economy. People may feel more confident that their income will rise in the future, so they take on more spending in advance. Such a practice can be risky because the economy could take a turn for the worse and that increase may never come.

Individuals who are struggling with debt may feel like they are in a hole they will never be able to climb out of. There are alternative options that can help eliminate or restructure debt for a consumer, including Chapter 7 and Chapter 13. There are income and other requirements attached to certain forms of bankruptcy that an attorney will explain to a client.

Source: MSN Money, "1 in 3 have more credit card debt than savings", March 19, 2014

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