It is easy to think that people who carry significant credit card debt are bad with their money. Many people may assume that these debt carriers simply can’t curb their personal spending habits, or that they can’t recognize when they need to save their money for a more important time.
However, a new study smashes this conventional piece of thinking into pieces. The report, which was done by Demos, found that unforeseen life circumstances often play a far bigger role in a person’s credit card debt than poor spending habits or being bad with money. For example, people who had been unemployed for at least two months in the past three years — relative to the study’s year, which is 2012 — were 14 percent more likely to carry credit card debt than someone who had not suffered such unemployment.
Medical expenses were a huge burden as well. The study found that a person without health insurance is 20 percent more likely to carry credit card debt than someone with insurance. Additionally, 60 percent of households surveyed in this report said medical expenses were a key reason they carried credit card debt — regardless of whether they had insurance or not.
Sometimes life throws you a tough hand, and you have to play it. It doesn’t matter if you are good with money or if you prefer to spend your entire paycheck on clothes and electronics.
When a serious financial matter strikes, you are going to need some help, and many people turn to their credit cards. This doesn’t mean that they have failed — it simply means that they may need some help down the road. Bankruptcy can be that help, allowing a person to discharge their debts to let them get back on stable financial footing.
Source: Think Progress, “No, People Don’t Get Buried In Credit Card Debt Because They’re Bad With Money,” Bryce Covert, May 10, 2014