When people think of the type of person who is carrying debt on credit cards, the stereotype of a young person with low income levels and high spending habits may come to mind. This misconception not only unfairly paints people with credit card debt as irresponsible spenders, but it also ignores the reality that many people in New Jersey and nationwide who are struggling with paying off their credit cards are over the age of 50.
The problem with stereotyping people facing financial strain is that it unfairly, and needlessly, creates a sense of isolation for those who do not fall squarely in with these labels. People from all walks of life can find themselves dealing with mounting credit card debt. There are also many different types of costs and expenditures that contribute to debt that have nothing to do with irresponsible spending or unemployment.
In fact, a troubling trend has emerged which illustrates the financial strain that many older Americans are dealing with. According to recent reports, baby boomers over the age of 50 are among those carrying significant levels of debt on their credit cards.
These consumers are not unemployed students racking up bills without understanding the negative consequences of overspending. Instead, baby boomers often find themselves charging groceries, prescriptions, tuition payments for their children, and other expenses that leave them with an average of more than $8,000 in debt on their credit cards. Charges combined with enormous interest rates means that the balance on these cards never seems to get any better. For many people in this situation, the idea of retirement and financial stability can feel completely out of reach.
One of the most positive traits about baby boomers, however, is their ability to adapt. Rather than continue to dig through debt alone, it may be very beneficial to reach out and find creative and alternative solutions to dealing with credit card payments. By adjusting habits, reorganizing payment plans or considering relocation, people can find relief from the seemingly never-ending cycle of credit card debt.
Source: Fox Business, “Boomers Face Credit-Card Quandary as Economic Doldrums Bite,” Chris Taylor, Feb. 20, 2013
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