The holiday season brings family and friends together for parties and gift giving, but, unfortunately for millions of Americans, the aftermath of the season also brings big credit card bills. Generosity can come back and cause problems in the New Year.
With the holiday season in full swing, millions of Americans are probably making a lot of purchases on their credit cards. For some people, credit cards offer a hassle-free method of paying for all types of things, from gifts to necessities, leaving the actual payment for later. But, taking on credit card debt can be a slippery slope, and in many cases what someone once thought was a few innocent purchases can lead to financial hardship down the road.
Much was made of the efforts of millions of Americans to trim down their debt burdens and shore up their finances during the recent economic downturn. Experts noted how many people chose to spend their money a bit more wisely during the recession, and it was believed by some that perhaps that would translate into more financial security for many people as the economy improved. But, as always seems to be the case, as the economy has improved - albeit at a snail's pace - Americans are taking on more debt.
Credit card users throughout America may not have realized it, but for the last few years a law passed by the United States Congress in 2009 has been providing them with significant protection. That law is known as the CARD Act, and it became effective on February 22, 2010.
Many of our Escondido readers have probably heard financial "experts" opine on the difference between "good debt" and "bad debt." For instance, a mortgage is often considered to be "good debt" because as a homeowner repays the loan they are building equity in what was once considered to be a very safe investment - real estate.
There are a lot of nationwide problems that are being discussed by politicians and the news media these days. Immigration concerns currently top the list, but other problems, like highway funds and student loan debt, are certainly issues that have an impact on Americans in every state, including California. However, there is apparently at least one large issue that does not seem to garner much attention, but that affects nearly one-third of all Americans: debt obligations that have been folded into the collections process.
Freedom, independence and liberty were widely celebrated throughout America over the recent holiday weekend, and hopefully all of our Escondido readers were able to have a good time with friends and family members. Recognizing the importance of these American principles in the everyday lives of millions of people, a recent article took a somewhat different approach to how they can be implemented to practical effect - through freedom from credit card debt.
It is hard to believe that the year is almost half over already. For some people, 2014 has so far been the year when they are finally getting their family finances in order after several years of a tough American economy. This can include paying back credit card debt.
Many of our Escondido readers dread receiving their credit card bills in the mail each month. Not only do these statements point out the thousands in credit card debt that is owed, but they also point out the often very high interest rate that applies to the balance, as well as the minimum payment - which by itself can seem daunting for the average person who is simply struggling to make ends meet in today's troubled economy. With all of these terms spelled out, sometimes in bold lettering, these monthly statement can seem more like contracts in which the only party getting what they want is the credit card company.
Millions of Americans use credit cards on a daily basis for a variety of reasons. Some use credit cards on every purchase simply to accumulate those enticing rewards that so many of the credit card companies hold out in front of consumers' noses in an attempt to get them to use their cards. Those same people will usually pay their credit card balances in full each month. However, the unfortunate reality is that many people use their credit cards because they have no other choice - they don't have enough money in the bank, and they need to buy the necessities for their family. But the fact is that many people, no matter how or why they use credit cards, often don't know much about these complicated financial tools - and as a result they end up with massive credit card debt.