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Consumer debt can be challenging when income dips or stops

Total consumer debt in the United States was around $14.15 trillion in 2019. Credit card balances that were carried month-to-month totaled around $466.2 billion in Dec. 2019. This is an almost 37% increase over the past five years and just over a 7% increase from the last year.

The average household owes around $7,104 in revolving credit card debt, but this is only a small portion of the total debt owed. The average household in this country owes $137,879. Mortgage debt is the highest category. It is followed by student loans and then auto loans.

In a time when many people are finding their income lowered or eliminated, trying to get ahead of these debts can be challenging. Even if you cut back on luxuries and focus on the basics, you might not be able to pay off your debt.

If you come to realize that you have too much debt and not enough income, you need to explore your options. One that you might think about is filing for bankruptcy. This is a big step for many, but it is a way that you can enjoy a fresh financial start.

One thing that you have to think about if you're considering filing for bankruptcy is how it might impact your home if you have a mortgage. In many cases, bankruptcy can stop foreclosure, which is beneficial for people who have fallen behind on their house payments but want to remain in the home. Be sure to discuss this and all of your questions and concerns with an experienced attorney.

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