Many Texans are struggling with significant amounts of credit card debt that they find it difficult to repay. While some people are able to pay off their credit card bills each month and avoid carrying a balance, those who do carry a balance often extend it out over a year or more. According to one report, 56 percent of people who carry balances on their credit cards maintain them for more than a year. Around 23 percent have remained in debt for three years or more while 14 percent have carried their debt for five years or more.
Of course, as balances remain on credit cards, the cost of the initial transaction rises dramatically. People pay substantially more interest the longer they carry their credit card balances. While credit cards can be an important financial option, individuals can also accumulate excessive debt that they are not able to repay. This is particularly true for people who face financial challenges after their initial purchases. Interestingly, while people with lower incomes are more likely to not pay off their credit cards every month, people with higher incomes may be more likely to carry a balance over a long period of time.
In addition, many people with lower incomes may have less available credit. That’s because their debt burden will be closer to their credit limit. In addition, they may also have lower credit scores and be faced with higher interest rates. While the average annual percentage rate (APR) for all credit cards is 17.5 percent, many people pay 25 percent interest or more.
People who find themselves unable to pay off their credit card bills may be looking for a solution, especially as they face creditor calls or missed payments. They could inquire with a bankruptcy lawyer about Chapter 13 bankruptcy and other options for long-term debt relief.