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Americans may carry credit card debt for years

Roughly half of Americans in Michigan and elsewhere who hold credit card debt carry a balance for at least two years. Of those who admitted to carrying a balance for at least two years, half said that they have had it for five years. This was according to a study of 2,000 adults conducted by Creditcards.com. Baby boomers and those in the Silent Generation were the most likely to carry such debt.

Baby boomers are between the ages of 63 and 71, and 63 percent said that they had credit card debt. The Silent Generation consists of those who are 72 years and older, and 57 percent in that age group admitted to having credit card debt. The survey also found that most people didn't accumulate credit card debt because they were splurging on expensive items. Instead, the debt was accumulated paying for groceries, utility bills and other necessities.

Medical bills, home repairs and car repairs were other common reasons why people said that they went into credit card debt. More than half of those who were between the ages of 18 and 26 said that daily expenses were the reason for their credit card debt. Only 35 percent of those who were classified as part of Generation X said that such choices put them into debt.

Debtors who are having trouble paying off their credit card bills may find that filing for bankruptcy may benefit them. In some cases, credit card balances may be discharged immediately. It may also be possible to restructure existing debt to make repaying it easier. An attorney may be able to help an individual learn more about the benefits of bankruptcy, such as putting an end to creditor contact. Other benefits may include putting a stop to foreclosures or repossessions.

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