Many Americans have debt in some form, whether it is a mortgage, an automobile loan, a student loan or credit card debt. Although a great number of people view debt as unavoidable, it is generally understood that there are good types of debt and bad types of debt. Credit card debt, because of the expenses related to interest charges and fees and the potential for creditor harassment, is often classified as bad debt.
When consumers begin to struggle under significant credit card debt, they often feel powerless against the credit card companies. However, there are certain laws that specifically limit certain actions by credit card companies and impose specific duties. One of the primary laws that protect users of credit cards is the Credit CARD (Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure) Act that was passed in 2009. All of the provisions contained in the Act are now in effect.
Credit cards can be a great financial tool for New York residents who need to make a large purchase or cover the expenses associated with an unexpected emergency. Unfortunately, however, credit card debt can quickly snowball, creating significant financial hardships for consumers. Many people struggling with high levels of credit card debt face creditor harassment, late fees and interest rates that can make paying off a balance seem impossible. In some cases, extreme levels of credit card debt can lead to filing for bankruptcy.
When people find themselves burdened with and struggling under large amounts of credit card debt, they begin searching for debt solutions that can protect their interests and provide some relief from the harassment of creditors. Many people look into the possibility of a debt settlement program, which is a debt relief option generally provided by for-profit companies that involves negotiating a resolution to the debt with the creditors. By "resolving" their debt, debtors will generally make a lump sum payment that will satisfy the creditor but that is ultimately less than the amount originally owed.
Because credit card debt is so common in the United States, many people fail to see the debt as a problem until it has snowballed. Credit is useful and invaluable in many situations, but sometimes life intervenes and circumstances change in ways that make repaying incurred debt difficult if not impossible. Examples of such circumstances include job loss or reduced hours, health emergencies, unexpected family additions, or the need to provide care for a loved one. For many people with high levels of credit card debt and limited income, the problems extend beyond financial stress to include delinquent payments (and the resulting late fees) and creditor harassment.
The effects of carrying large amounts of credit card debt can reach far beyond the expenses of significant interest charges or negative consequences on a person's credit score. Financial strain can be incredibly taxing and stressful for individuals and families, especially when creditor harassment begins or intensifies.
Many people assume that only people with low incomes struggle with financial problems. However, the truth and reality is that anyone can find himself in financial trouble if something unexpected occurs or if he lives above his means. The availability of credit cards have increased the risk of ballooning debt that becomes unmanageable because it gives people access to money at nearly all times. Due to the ease of obtaining credit cards, many people use them to finance a range of things, including businesses, which can lead to some significant levels of credit card debt.