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Americans still saddled with debt

Our country is in an economic recovery. If this seems like news to you, then you are likely not among the elite few who are enjoying financial benefits from the slow upturn of the economy. In fact, the economic benefits are generally only benefitting the wealthier residents of the Washington, D.C., area, with consumer debt wreaking havoc on the rest of the area's population. The economic downturn was so devastating to many that they were required to turn to credit cards for fundamental needs such as gas and groceries. Now, new data indicate that 20 million Americans believe they will never be able to conquer their debt.

Even though credit card debt has decreased in some groups, student loan debt has skyrocketed to immense proportions. In addition, this year, more Americans will stop paying down their credit card debt and accumulate new financial burdens. In fact, nationwide, Americans are expected to accrue some $46.7 billion in additional debt this year. Economists say the existing financial system is not only preventing consumers from seeking adequate debt relief, but it is also stopping them from saving valuable money that could be used for future investments.

Sadly, the proportion of Americans who need to use credit cards for essentials such as groceries and rent has not declined, but rather stayed constant even through the so-called recovery. Car problems, medical bills, home costs and utility bills account for a massive amount of the newly accumulated card debt. Most Americans over 50 owe more than $8,000 in card debt alone.

Younger borrowers are also highly affected by the increased debt load, especially because of their already costly educational expenses. The millions of Americans who are uncertain about their financial resources should be aware that a variety of professionals are available to provide guidance about overwhelming credit card debt.

Source: nypost.com, "20M homes fear they'll never live debt-free" Catherine Curan, Sep. 21, 2013

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