Credit card debt is an example of unsecured consumer debt, accessed through credit cards.

Debt results when a client of a credit card company purchases an item or service through the card system. Debt accumulates and increases via interest and penalties when the consumer does not pay the company for the money he or she has spent.

credit card debt

Credit card debt is the third largest source of household indebtedness. Only the mortgage and student loan debt markets are larger. Here are the latest credit card debt statistics from the Federal Reserve
Despite what you may hear about credit cards, getting into overwhelming debt with them is not inevitable. In fact, millions of credit customers charge regularly and never pay a penny in finance charges or other fees. 
8 things you must know about credit card debt
1. You don't have to owe! It is entirely possible to use credit cards regularly and stay out of debt forever.
2. Know when short-term loans make sense. Sometimes financing a purchase with a credit card is prudent -- as long as the repayment time frame is short.
3. Owing is easy, repaying is hard. Without careful attention, sinking into overwhelming debt is remarkably easy.

4. Debt affects your credit score. Not only is it wise to remain debt free for your own bottom line, holding onto high balances negatively impacts your credit score. 

5. Develop a repayment plan.  Even if you're in deep, you can probably climb out of debt with commitment and a plan. 

6. Can't make a payment? Ask for help. While your credit card company is under no obligation to accept less than the minimum requested payment, do not fear.

7. Settle cautiously. Want to settle your credit card debt for less than the actual balance? It's possible, but you need to offer a lump sum, and most creditors require borrowers be at least a few months behind.

8. You can't go to jail for nonpayment, but... If you're worried about spending time behind bars for not paying your credit card debt. The key is to always be aware of charging and balances, and address credit problems immediately.

Please note: If you wish to consolidate your debts because you are currently experiencing difficulties in making regular payments, please contact your credit provider who may be able to restructure your payments or work out a repayment plan to help you manage your debt.




Credit and Debit Cards

The sheer number of credit and debit cards on the market can make selecting the right ones appear daunting. But everyday purchases can really pay off if you earn frequent-flier miles or other bonus points through loyalty programs. Articles on how to select cards and how to use them

On Focus

Credit Card Magazine