Earlier this month, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York released data
about the amount of debt that Americans are currently juggling and struggling
to overcome. That new data suggests that consumers have run up more personal
debt than they have since 2011, when the U.S. was still being significantly
affected by the Great Recession.
This news would not be quite so unsettling if it was not paired with the
news that consumer debt rates are rising very, very quickly. According
to the newly released data, consumer debt in American rose by $241 billion
in the last quarter of 2013. This rise represents the largest quarter-long
increase in personal debt since the third quarter of 2007, just months
before the Great Recession first took hold of the nation.
Consumer debt is generally made up of loans for automobiles, mortgages,
credit card debt and other debt loads tied to purchases that Americans make on a daily
basis. Some of these purchases are necessities, while others are luxuries.
Therefore, it is not always possible to control one’s consumer debt
fully when certain purchases are necessities.
Nonetheless, personal debt loads are rising so quickly that Bankrate.com
recently reported that nearly 30 percent of Americans have more credit
card debt alone than they do savings. If you are among this significant
fraction of Americans and you feel that your debt is spiraling out of
control, do not wait until you hit your breaking point to talk to an attorney
about debt management and debt relief options like bankruptcy.
Source: TIME, “
Americans Are Taking on Debt at Scary High Rates,” Sam Frizell, Feb. 19, 2014