The average American household had $15,983 in credit card debt at the end of 2017, according to NerdWallet, the personal finance website. And more people are paying off medical bills with credit cards, pushing that debt up.
Overall, NerdWallet says, Americans’ credit card debt climbed 7 percent from 2016 to 2017. With interest rates expected to keep inching up in 2018, that debt likely won’t be going down anytime soon.
There are two commonly promoted ways to pay off credit card debt: the “debt avalanche” and the “debt snowball.”
With the debt avalanche, you pay off the highest-interest cards first, and probably save the most on interest in the long run. Under the debt snowball, you pay off the card with the smallest debt first, then the next smallest, on up the line. You get small victories and motivation.
But what if you still can’t see your way out? You’ve got thousands in credit card debt. You’ve got a car loan – NerdWallet says the average household had $27,755 in auto loans at the end of 2017. Topping it off, you might have hospital debt and a mortgage.
Talking to an attorney who can help with debt planning and debt negotiation is a good place to start. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can provide guidance on which chapter of bankruptcy is right for your situation, and help you start fresh.