According to a study conducted in 2018 about American Household Credit Card Debt, the average household has about $134,643 in debt – which can include mortgages, auto loans, credit cards and personal loan balances. Debt has continued to increase as cost of living increases. And as a result, many Americans rely on credit cards to pay for expenses they can’t necessarily afford.
If you’re in debt, the idea of paying it off probably feels overwhelming and unrealistic. It can be difficult to keep up with minimum payments while managing other everyday expenses. But if you make a long-term plan to pay off your debt, and stick with your plan, you’ll make significant progress toward your goal.
Five Steps to Take
- Make more than minimum payments
- Pay off debt with the highest interest rate first
- Contact the creditor to see if you can make adjustments to your account, such as payment due date or lower an interest rate, to accommodate your budget and income.
- See what personal items you can liquidate, then use the funds to pay off and lower your debt
- Create a budget and track your spending. Evaluate where you may be able to cut expenses. The money you save can be used to lower your debt.
Debt Collector Contact
Contact from debt collectors can cause additional stress. But debt collectors don’t always provide accurate information about your debt, and they may resort to unlawful tactics to get you to pay. If any information seems inaccurate, ask that the collector provide Validation or Itemization of the debt.
You also have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) that prohibit collectors from using certain tactics. Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are not permitted to:
- Threaten or harass you
- Tell you false information about your debt
- Contact family and friends and disclose information about your debt
- Continue trying to collect from you if you ask them to stop
Seek Help from a Consumer Protection Attorney
Flitter Milz is a consumer protection law firm that represents consumers that have become victim of unfair collection practices by debt collectors and collection law firms. Whether you owe the debt of not, the collector must follow the law. Contact us to discuss your consumer rights.