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Lower income and single motherhood worsen credit card debt

Incomes naturally vary among individuals in Texas, but on the whole, gender influences income and levels of credit card debt. The Federal Reserve System has calculated that women have a median salary of $41,554 compared to men at $51,640. Lower income translates into higher credit card debts. A recent study found that 26 percent of female credit card holders doubted that they would pay their full balances this month. When asked the same question, only 14 percent of men doubted that they would pay everything on their credit accounts.

Using credit cards responsibly

Many people in Texas who struggle with debt decide to cut up their credit cards so that they can avoid buying items they cannot truly afford. While credit cards can get many people into debt, they also can play an important role in a plan to responsibly rebuild a good credit history.

Getting a credit card debt settlement

Many Texas residents struggle to pay their monthly credit card bills. As part of the agreement to obtain credit, cardholders sign documents agreeing to pay all the debts that they owe to the credit card company plus interest. When these debts aren't paid on time, many credit card companies realize that referring the matter to attorneys or collection agencies simply isn't worth it.

The difference between unsecured and secured debt

Texas residents who are looking to borrow money will take loans that are labeled as secured or unsecured. A secured loan is one that is backed by an asset such as a home or a car. If a borrower fails to make a payment on a secured loan, the lender has the right to take back the asset linked to the loan. For instance, if a person fails to make payments on a car loan, the lender can repossess the car.

What individuals and companies should know about bankruptcy

When a person or business in Texas cannot pay debt, bankruptcy may be an option. This process allows for some or all debts to be discharged either through liquidation or through a repayment plan. Those who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy will use the money obtained after selling non-exempt assets to pay off creditors. Debtors will likely need to take a means test to determine if they can afford to pay off some of their debts.

Senate tries again with medical debt reform

If the Medical Debt Relief Act were to pass, it would require 180 days to pass before medical debt could be reported on a credit report. It would also remove medical debts that had been settled or otherwise paid off. This could work to improve the credit scores of many people who live in Texas and throughout the country. The legislation was recently introduced again by Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon.

Bankruptcy rates surging among senior population

A long-term study conducted by the Consumer Bankruptcy Project found that the bankruptcy rate among seniors has nearly tripled since 1991. In addition to shrinking incomes, many older adults are also struggling with rising health care costs. This is a growing problem throughout Texas and the rest of the country, and some experts believe that these filings are only going to increase in the coming years. Bankruptcy can be a very useful tool when used correctly, but seniors often file well after most of the damage has been done.

How to avoid making a debt problem worse

Texas residents who are struggling to pay off debt are advised to create a repayment plan as soon as possible. They are also advised to overcome the urge to go deeper into debt on meals or other items that may provide temporary satisfaction. Part of a debt repayment plan should include making credit card and other payments on time. Cutting down on current expenses can be an effective way to pay off balances faster.