One thing summer sees a lot of are people taking vacations. One thing individuals may want to keep in mind when planning a summer vacation is finances.
Arizona credit cardholders might be interested in learning more about why credit card interest rates sometimes increase. In some cases, it is because a promotional APR has expired, so the cardholder is being charged the normal rate. Another reason is because the cardholder has missed two or more payments and is being charged a penalty rate. Those who are charged a penalty rate may have their rate reduced if they make on-time payments for six months or more.
On March 10, the results of an extensive study by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were released. The CFPB found that binding arbitration clauses in consumer contracts severely limit their ability to be able to sue a creditor in the event of a legal dispute.
Arizona residents may not be aware of the best ways to reduce debt. Consolidating debts and cancelling credit cards can help, but if certain precautions aren't taken, the result could be more harmful to a credit score in the end. It is possible that individuals attempting to consolidate their debt may be close to making their debt problems even worse. Pinpointing what the goal is when choosing to consolidate may help to avoid pitfalls.
Arizona residents who owe thousands of dollars in credit card debt are not alone, according to a recent analysis of Federal Reserve statistics and government data. As of December 2014, the average household in the United States has $7,281 in outstanding credit card debt. When the households without any debt are taken out of the equation, the average household owes $15,608 on credit cards. In total, Americans owe approximately $881.8 billion in credit card debt as of September 2014.
Arizona residents with a lot of credit card debt may feel overwhelmed by what they owe. However, there are some important things to keep in mind that could cause consumers to breath a sigh of relief. The first thing that all debtors should know is that they will never go to jail for nonpayment of a debt. Although there could be some legal repercussions for missed payments, none of those penalties will ever be time behind bars.
Arizona residents who are in debt may not be aware that there is a statute of limitations that applies to credit card debt. That period is six years. This means that a debt collector has a limited amount of time to take legal action in order to obtain a debt. However, this does not affect the impact the debt may have on the debtor's credit.
In Arizona as in the rest of the U.S., the IRS requires creditors to disclose all canceled debts of $600 or more on a 1099-C tax notice. In most cases, the agency considers canceled debt a form of taxable income, so people failing to report such debts on their income tax returns could receive an audit that could result in additional taxes, penalties and interest. Those who receive these notices may want to speak with a tax professional before filing their income taxes to discuss their options.
In most cases, credit card companies will negotiate with consumers on past-due amounts to come to a settlement agreement. Some companies advertise services to do this for the consumer, and they can help in some cases. It is important to watch for scams, though, because many companies may attempt to take advantage of consumers or lure them in with false information, such as advertisements to settle debts for pennies on the dollar or guarantees that they will make unsecured debts go away. Some even claim to use a "new government program" to do all of this.
Americans over the age of 60 owe $43 billion in student loan debt in addition to an average of $5,347 in credit card debt. These obligations may make planning for retirement difficult. However, there are ways that older Americans can find help dealing with their debt. For those who have taken out student loans to pay for their child's education, it may be possible to ask those children to assume more of that obligation.