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Credit card debt rose for average U.S. citizens last year

Many Michigan residents are aware of the allure of credit cards. Credit cards offer the ability to pay for goods and services that a person may not otherwise be able to afford at the time. Sometimes, however, this allure can prove to be destructive - a fact millions of Americans can attest to. Countless people have experienced the nightmare of being trapped with credit card debt. To escape this trap, drastic measures often must be taken. Bankruptcy is one such measure.

Michigan residents may be shocked to learn just how high the total amount of outstanding credit card debt was in America last year. A year prior, the total was $606.75 billion, an enormous number. But as of December, that number is ever higher - outstanding credit card debt increased to $642.4 billion.

Percentagewise, this marks a 5.9 percent increase in 2014. Some have speculated as to why this increase occurred. According to one report, Americans were more conservative with their spending immediately following the Great Recession. This marked a time when Americans were using less of their incomes to cover credit card debt. But now, that trend may be ending, as the number of quarterly issued new credit card has more than doubled from lows. 16 million new credit cards were issued last quarter.

For those who count themselves among the millions suffering with credit card debt, there are debt relief options. One way to eliminate debt is to file for bankruptcy. Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 are popular option for those filing for personal bankruptcy. In order to fully understand the difference between the two and pursue the option best suited for them, filers often consult with legal professionals before taking action.

Source: The Motley Fool, "The Average American's Credit Card Debt Grew This Much Last Year - How Do You Compare?," Todd Campbell, March 15, 2015

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