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How do Escondido residents approach monthly credit card bills?

Some of our Escondido readers may remember the times when credit card companies would send out representatives to college campuses throughout the country, attempting to get college students to sign up for credit cards by tempting them with free t-shirts and other merchandise. Laws have changed and addressed that situation, but it could serve as an indication as to how certain people view credit cards. For some, credit cards are hardly ever used for fear of the impact that use would have on a credit score. For others, using credit cards is necessary just to make ends meet between paychecks.

A recent article pointed out one particular aspect of credit card use: about 18 percent of credit card users carry over credit debt on a monthly basis, and those people indicated that they believe doing so is just fine. The data, obtained in a poll conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, led the NFCC to emphasize several points about such thinking and behavior.

The most important points made in the article concern how interest on credit card debt can rack up quickly when debt is carried over month-to-month. This can strain a credit limit quickly, and thereby result in a person paying interest on the interest applied from previous months. The poll showed that a majority of respondents, 61 percent, indicated that paying off credit card balances in full each month is the only way to go.

There is no doubt that credit cards have pros and cons, and each individual must analyze those aspects of credit card use in light of their own unique situations. But when unexpected expenses force unexpected reliance on credit cards, the mounting debt can leave an individual or family searching for options that could lead to a fresh start - and one option could be filing for bankruptcy.

Source: TimesRecordNews, "Poll: 18% carry over card debt," Aug. 8, 2013