Did you know that most Americans are more embarrassed about their credit card debt than their weight? A new poll from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling suggests that many Washington residents are bashful about their credit score. In fact, about one in three people say their amount of credit card debt is more embarrassing than their weight, bank balance or credit score. To be fair, there may be a good reason; nationwide, the average household carries about $15,000 in credit card debt.
All jokes aside, this type of consumer debt can have a serious effect on the personal and financial lives of those it affects. Credit card debt is difficult enough to deal with on its own — now, you also have to manage the humiliation that comes along with it. Experts say that shame is actually one of the worst emotions that we can promote when trying to help people overcome their financial challenges. Many people who are embarrassed about their credit situation choose to hide from their problems instead of confronting them, which can compound the financial issues until they are monstrous in proportion.
Instead of ignoring your credit card debt, experts say it is wise to design a payoff plan for yourself. Stop charging, put aside your credit cards, and make a formal annual budget to help you overcome your financial burdens. Gurus say it is generally best to prioritize the card with the highest annual percentage rate. This is most likely to save you big money in the long term.
People who feel overwhelmed by their financial burdens may actually consider filing for bankruptcy as an alternative to continued creditor harassment. Crushing credit card debt does not have to continue to be your reality. Instead, those who are facing massive, challenging debt may benefit from filing for bankruptcy and receiving a discharge of their debts. Every financial situation is different, so it is important to consult a team of experts before making this major decision.
Source: U.S. News and World Report, “Does Credit Card Debt Make You Blush? You’re Not Alone” Lindsay Konsko, May. 26, 2014