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Steps for overcoming crippling credit card debt

Unexpected car repairs, a medical crisis or job loss could all force someone in Kentucky to rely too heavily on credit cards. As the balances climb, the cost of interest eats into income and sabotages the ability to save for emergencies or retirement. Research from ValuePenguin shows that the average credit card debt in U.S. households is $5,700. At 20 percent interest, that balance will accrue interest costs of almost another $5,000 in addition to the principal over seven years.

To diminish the effects of mounting interest charges, individuals should make paying off the balances with the highest interest rates their top priority. Another strategy is to transfer balances to credit cards with better interest rates in order to lower payments.

Asking a lender for a lower interest rate is an additional way someone can make a dent in his or her debt. A person who has been able to make minimum monthly payments could qualify for a reduced rate. Results from a survey conducted by CreditCards.com revealed that 69 percent of people succeeded in lowering their rates simply by asking.

These strategies may not be effective for a person who is encumbered by high credit card debt and a diminished income. In these situations, people may find it helpful to discuss their financial issues with attorneys. Lawyers could inform them about the possible benefits of filing for bankruptcy and offer advice for saving their homes or discharging medical bills. After evaluating a person's income and debts, an attorney might find that he or she qualifies for protection under bankruptcy law. A lawyer could also organize the individual's financial records and document his or her hardships to prepare court filings. It may also be possible for an attorney to halt harassment from creditors as the case progresses toward the potential discharge of debts.

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