Credit Card Debt Inches Up in August
News from Opposing Views:

The amount of credit card debt being carried nationwide rose very slightly in August, despite the fact that some of the areas hit hardest by the recent recession continued to slash their balances.

The total combined credit card debt for every borrower in the country climbed 0.2 percent on an annual basis in August to $ 585.3 billion, according to the latest data from the credit reporting agency Equifax. However, the uptick came mostly because of relatively large increases in areas that already carried massive amounts of credit card debt, and despite declines in many areas that were most deeply affected by the recent economic downturn.

For instance, balances in much of Southern California, the Las Vegas area, and a few large cities in Michigan came down appreciably on a year-over-year basis, the report said. The Las Vegas area, where balances dipped 1.88 percent to slightly more than $ 3.69 billion, from more than $ 3.76 billion, led this trend. Further, the areas around Detroit, Ann Arbor and Flint saw balances slide 1.8 percent to nearly $ 9.7…………… continues on Opposing Views

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Experts: Don’t use home equity to pay off credit cards
News from The State:

Neil

Brown

Periodically, The State’s financial columnists, Ashleigh Brooker and Neil Brown, certified financial planners in the Midlands, will offer their views on a question from a reader. This week’s question:

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Should I refinance my home and/or take out the equity to pay off my credit cards?

Ashleigh said…

I heard this question more often during the height of the real estate market, but not in recent years. The primary reason being, many of the same people who had equity in their homes five years ago have significantly less, if any, today. However, with today’s interest rates being at historic lows, refinancing into a lower rate and/or for a shorter term can significantly lower your borrowing costs. While refinancing your home makes sense in many cases, I am not a fan of using the equity in your home to pay off your consumer debt.

I primarily do not recommend it because it often gives the consumer a false sense of their true financial condition. Consequently, debts that have nothing to do with your home, which in many cases is a family’s biggest and only asset, are now associated with that house. Reducing the equity in your home may not seem like a big…………… continues on The State

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