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Debts increase, credit scores decrease among older Americans

Many Ohioans are embarrassed to admit that they don't have enough money in their bank account to cover emergency expenses--they feel it indicates a lack of self-control. This is not necessarily the case. People all over America have been faced with financial challenges and racked up debt paying for basic expenses such as housing, food and childcare. Increases in social security taxes have also contributed to household debt.

Americans over the age of 40 have been especially susceptible to the tough economic environment. According to CNN, their level of debt has increased since 2005 and their credit scores have decreased. It appears that younger Americans have learned from their parents' misfortune and are shunning credit card use in an effort to prevent the same thing from happening. Those between the ages of 18 and 29 are more likely to use a debit card or a prepaid card instead. As a result, the average amount of credit card debt in this age group has decreased by over $1,000 since the economic downturn in 2008. Still, many young adults still have a few thousand dollars in credit card debt. Many are also saddled with student loans, which are currently driving credit growth in the United States.

It doesn’t matter what the source of the debt is—credit card debt, medical bills or student loans; trying to overcome such financial challenges can be extremely frustrating. It is important to remember that you aren’t alone in the battle though. It is often a good idea to talk to an experienced attorney regarding your options. You may be able to find debt relief by structuring a repayment plan to make the payments more manageable. Or, in some cases it may be in your best interest to file for bankruptcy.

Source: Moneynews.com, “CNN Money: Young Americans Cut the Credit Card Habit,” John Morgan, June 16, 2013

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