Americans have frequently been told that they live in the wealthiest nation on Earth. We are frequently told of the prosperity that this country has. Unfortunately, these statements conceal the terrible truth about finance in America. Statistics show that Americans are having a much harder time paying their bills. In fact, they are having such a difficult time paying their bills that the savings rate for the country has dropped to the lowest level since the height of the Great Depression in 1933. If these statistics don’t frighten you, this means you are either one of the few who has their finances under control, or you are unaware of the financial picture in the United States.
A number of studies have shown that the typical American owes about $10,000 in credit card debt at an average of 14% interest. Combine this with the auto loans, mortgage loans, student loans, and numerous other bills most Americans have today and it is easy to see why so many people are in debt. If this situation doesn’t remotely describe you, congratulations. It is in your best interest to keep it that way. If this situation does sound familiar, there are a number of changes you will need to make in your life immediately if you wish to be successful.
First, if you are making only the minimum payments on your credit cards each month, it may take you as long as 30 years to pay off the balance if you owe $5,000 or more. If you owe more than $10,000, you may never be able to get out of debt if you are simply paying the minimum payments. The banking industry and federal government has not made things any easier. A bankruptcy law was passed in 2005 that will make it harder for people to file bankruptcy in order to get out of debt, and banks are now saying they will double the minimum payment on their credit cards each month.
One thing you can do to protect your family is to look for credit repair or debt consolidation services if you haven’t already considered them. If you have any personal belongings that are valuable, you may need to consider selling them to pay off your debts. While this may not be a desirable option, the alternative is much worse. The debt situation in the United States continues to spiral out of control. The best way to protect yourself is to pay off your debt the best you can, and use a debt consolidation service if you are not sure where to turn.