Many people immediately assume that someone who carries a lot of credit card debt is an irresponsible person, or that they simply don’t understand “the concept of money.” To be fair, these stereotypes could be true of some people. But there are many people out there who are carrying credit card debt because they had to make an unexpected or extreme purchase for their livelihood, or for the betterment of a loved one.
For example, as we’ve talked about before, medical expenses play a huge role in the amount of debt a person carries. A sudden medical emergency or prolonged prescriptions for a chronic or ongoing medical issue can sap a person’s finances. There are other factors that can play a similar role: car repairs, home repairs, vacations, flights, and other major purchases can cripple a person’s finances for a long time.
These factors are not always examples of frivolous spending. Even vacations are necessary expenditures in most cases. People need time off, and they need the opportunity to get away for a little while. Just because you spend money doesn’t mean you are being irresponsible. You just have to be smart about how much you spend and how frequently.
Getting too far into debt will hurt you in a number of ways. Your credit score will drop and it will be very hard for you to secure other lines of credit, let alone pay off your current credit cards. Bankruptcy could help you out of your situation, depending on the circumstances — but the best way to protect yourself from such a move is to avoid massive debts in the first place, if you can. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but other times it is self-inflicted. Be smart with your money and if you need a possible way out, consult an experienced bankruptcy attorney.
Source: FOX Business, “Credit Card Debt Not a Sign of Irresponsibility,” Peter Andrew, July 9, 2014