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Overall credit card debt has dropped nationwide since 2013

Credit card debt among American households has dropped since 2013, with the average consumer carrying about $3,600 in debt during the first quarter of this year. However, some states have seen consumer balances rising again, with borrowers once again making big purchases on their lines of credit. Although it does not appear that Washington residents are carrying higher amounts of credit card debt, some other regions may be cruising for more financial difficulties because of their high individual rates.

Ashamed of your credit card debt? You're not alone

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.

Credit card debt builds when used as 'emergency fund' alternative

What would happen to your finances if emergency struck? If you said you would rely on credit cards to save the day, you are not alone; a growing number of Washington residents and other Americans are relying on credit to help out in the event of a major problem. Although amassing more credit card debt in the wake of an emergency may not seem like such a big deal, experts say that the practice can be detrimental to financial health.

How do you know whether debt discharge is the right choice?

Washington residents may not always know whether they should seek bankruptcy protection. When is debt discharge preferable to attempting an individual fix? Although bankruptcy is often unfairly stigmatized, it can be a good solution for those facing overwhelming consumer debt. Bankruptcy exists for a reason, and it is designed to help those Washingtonians who are truly in need of debt relief.

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