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How does debt affect Americans?

Credit card debt has become a significant problem for Americans. Individual credit card debt stands at around $5,331 as of 2019. In most cases, Americans don't pay the amount owed in full, either, which is another issue. By not paying in full, they face interest accruing; Interest can exceed 25 percent annually.

Between the ages of 45 and 54, people usually reach the peak of their spending on credit cards. Since these are peak earning years, it makes sense that people feel more comfortable spending and maintaining a higher level of debt each month. However, as people age, the amount they owe generally declines.

Debt declines from around $9,096 during ages 45 to 54 to around $5,638 by age 75. Debts reduce primarily due to the fact that most Americans have to live on fixed incomes during retirement. That means they spend less and focus on paying down anything they owe.

Overall, credit card debt usually has to do with income. As you earn more, you may feel confident taking on more debt. However, if you lose your job or suddenly can no longer work, it can hold you back and threaten your way of life.

If you're struggling with debt, you have a few options to consider. Bankruptcy is one. Another is negotiating with creditors for lower payments or deferred payments. A third is to start making larger payments by taking on new work or cutting back on expenses that aren't necessities each month.

It's possible to get in control of your credit debt. A good plan of action can help you do so.

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