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Americans have more spending power along with more debt

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has good and bad news for Kentucky residents. Americans have more credit available to them now than they have for the past two years. Logically, credit card debt has also gone up, but the really bad news is that delinquency rates have also increased. That means too many people are not paying their credit bills on time or at all.

The increase in delinquency is described as 'modest" by the agency. The country had record low delinquency rates during the financial crisis of 2007-2009. But the agency also found that today, people tend to have fewer individual credit cards than in the days before the recession. People with prime credit ratings have more than four cards today, but prior to the recession they tended to have more than five. The actual amount of overall credit being extended to Americans today is $4 trillion, down from 2008.

Now that the recession is over, it can be easier to get approved for a credit card. But the National Foundation for Credit Counseling says that the increased delinquency rates are a concern, and warns consumers that not paying on time can put them deeper in debt. Interest rates are also on the rise. The APR hit a 10-year high of 16.21 percent in December, according to data from creditcards.com. Rates are predicted to rise even higher in 2018.

Some debts that cannot be paid could be discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This could include credit card obligations in addition to medical debt. There are a variety of eligibility requirements that an attorney can explain.

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