Credit cards are convenient ways to purchase goods and services when you don't yet have the cash on hand to pay for them. But credit card companies aren't acting out of the goodness of their hearts when they give consumers this convenient tool. They make money by charging interest.
Most people in Eastern Tennessee have probably never heard of the CARD Act, even though it contains some of the broadest consumer protection provisions in the United States Code. Even a summary understanding of the Act's provisions can help Tennessee consumers avoid burdensome credit card debt. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act was passed by Congress in 2009 in response to the Great Recession. The law clarifies certain portions of the Truth in Lending Act and adds a number of important protective measures.
Credit card debt can be easy to accumulate and very difficult to pay back. Unanticipated emergencies, unemployment and other unforeseen expenses can cause credit card debt to add up quickly. Events like holidays and other special occasions can add to the debt. Not too long ago, we discussed the impact of the holiday season on the average American's debt burden.
Many shoppers in Bradley County have been offered a credit card at the check-out counter of a discount store, super market or other retailer. The offer seems almost too good to be true - no credit check, instant credit of $500 or more, and low interest rates. Like most things that appear to be too good to be true, an in-store credit card may also be too good to be true. Before accepting another dollop of credit card debt, a person should carefully consider both the advantages and disadvantages of an in-store credit card.
It is bad enough to deal with credit card debt, particularly when someone, at the same time, also has other issues, like unemployment or mounting medical bills from a recent and unexpected procedure. It is even worse when credit card companies take advantage of their customers, and families do not realize it until it is too late.
According to a recent survey, Americans on average picked up $1,054 in debts related to their holiday spending this season. Of this debt, over two-thirds of the people survey said they used a credit card to finance it.
What started as a fun family tradition of going shopping on that extra day off after the Thanksgiving holiday has become an all out shopping extravaganza. Some may still love Black Friday for the deals people can get in the check out lines, while others have grown less enthusiastic or even disdainful about this unofficial American holiday.
A previous post on this blog discussed how easily Bradley County, Tennessee residents can find themselves struggling against mounting credit card debt. As the previous post mentioned, problems with credit debt do not just afflict people who have difficulty with overspending on pleasure items.
As this blog has reported previously, many people throughout the country, including Bradley County and the communities of southeastern Tennessee, are still drowning in credit card debt.
Credit card debt in the United States is on the rise again, and Americans have even broken their previous record, set in 2008, of $1.02 trillion in revolving debt, which includes credit card debt and other charge accounts. The new record, set in early August, is $1.021 trillion in credit card debt.