Credit Card Debt Nears Toxic Levels
News from MyFox Memphis:

Updated: Sunday, 26 Feb 2012, 3:19 PM CST
Published : Sunday, 26 Feb 2012, 3:19 PM CST

(New York Post) – More American households are falling back into the debt hole, this time without the safety net of home values to help bail them out, the New York Post reported Sunday.

Last year, total US consumer debt reached its highest point in a decade, according to a credit card industry observer.

“Now more than ever, families need to work at saving and paying off any outstanding debts,” said Howard Dvorkin, a certified public accountant and founder of the credit counseling service Consolidated Credit.

After a few months of reducing credit card debt levels, Dvorkin said, Americans are starting to return to their reliance on debt.

“People made some progress in reducing card debt earlier in the year, but in the last few months, as the stock market started to rise, they started to return to their old ways of charging things,” he explained.

In December 2011, the total consumer debt — which is the combination of non-revolving and revolving debt — rose by some 9.3 percent to $ 2.498 trillion, according to the latest Federal Reserve Board numbers.

Both revolving debt and non-revolving debt increased. Revolving debt, which is credit-card debt, went up by 4.1 percent. Non-revolving debt, which includes loans for cars and education, ro…………… continues on MyFox Memphis

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Credit card debt easing in county
News from Santa Rosa Press Democrat:

Published: Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 1:28 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 1:28 p.m.

Judi Krug’s credit card crisis came to a boil two years ago.

With alimony payments ending and expenses from her son’s wedding looming, Krug sought help from an agency that promised to consolidate her mountainous debt.

Instead, the company did nothing — a fact made clear when American Express served her with papers, Krug said.

The shock of that ignited her into action, forcing her to approach her six credit card companies, form payment plans and end the shopping habit that fueled the problem.

A year and a half later, the 51-year-old Krug has whittled her debt from more than $ 50,000 to $ 15,000 and it’s still shrinking.

“Each time I pay off another credit card bill, it’s such a huge accomplishment for me,” said Krug, a property manager in Petaluma.

Krug may make an extreme example, but one way or another more Sonoma County residents appear to have lightened their credit card load.

At the end of 2011, the average county household owed $ 5,683 on their charge cards, down 7 percent from the end of 2010, according to Equifax Inc.

As a percentage of income, the credit reporting agency listed Sonoma County as having the 23rd biggest drop in credit card debt in the nation last year. continues on Santa Rosa Press Democrat

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