Who carries credit card debt?

Many people living in Texas and around the country carry a balance on their credit cards. Contrary to public perception of the types of people who have credit card debt, many of these individuals are older, in their 40s and 50s, and may be reasonably well-off.

Many people think of credit card debt as a problem that younger people have. This is due to the perception that younger people may misuse credit cards or that people in their 20s and 30s are more likely to have student loan debt, compromising available cash flow.

In reality, however, Gen Xers are perhaps the most “squeezed” generation when it comes to income and debt. Many members of this demographic began their careers with student loan debt and were not able to earn as much money as the generations before them. These individuals are now striving to send their own children to college while preparing for retirement.

Another surprising demographic that has a high credit card debt load is people who make over $100,000 per year. These individuals may have more access to credit than other people do and are thus more likely to get in over their heads.

Individuals who have both a steady income and some tangible property may be reluctant to consider bankruptcy even if they are having difficulty reducing their credit card balances. This is often because these debtors are afraid of losing their home, car or other valuables.

Chapter 13 bankruptcy, which is a three- or five-year debt repayment plan, may be an option. Chapter 13 filers are able to keep their assets while paying down their debt in a manageable way. At the end of the repayment plan, eligible unpaid debts are discharged by the court. An experienced bankruptcy lawyer may be able to help by explaining debt relief options, ensuring that clients qualify for bankruptcy and representing the clients in court.