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How Seniors Can Get Help With Credit Card Debt

How Seniors Can Get Help With Credit Card Debt

Senior citizens on fixed incomes AND have debt have a double whammy on their hands that isn’t always easily solvable. However, there are ways seniors can get help with credit card debt. Read on.

Credit Card Debt

The Issue

A report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that debt from plastic has risen in recent years among families headed by an individual at least 65.

And why are more seniors using credit cards? U.S. News & World Report says it’s mostly because their generation grew up using the cards and has stuck with them. Unexpected retirement costs, a hike in everyday expenses, and continued debt from years prior have also rendered contemporary seniors more reliant upon credit.

The problem is that many of these seniors depend on Social Security and don’t have much savings. So, when an emergency happens, and it’s hard to get a loan because of limited income, it can seem like a no-brainer to pull out the card.

Managing Credit Card Debt

Seniors can take some steps to help them manage their debt. To wit:

One way to approach debt on multiple credit cards is to pay off the one with the highest interest rate, which could save you money. You can also pay off the credit card with the smallest balance, then use the cash you would’ve plunked down on that card to pay down other higher-balance cards.

Whenever you can afford to send more than the minimum payment, that, too, can help you pay down debt quicker. While finding the funds to make higher payments on a fixed income can be challenging, you don’t want to get behind and get hit with penalties and maybe an increased interest rate.

Negotiate with creditors. You should contact your credit card issuers to see if they can give you more manageable terms. They might, particularly if you’ve been a longtime customer. The last thing you want to do is ignore them, although that can be a temptation.

Getting Help For Debt

If you’re looking for credit card debt relief for seniors, you may consider working with a credit counseling agency to help you address your credit card issues. A counselor can help you establish a personalized repayment strategy that considers your age and potentially deal directly with your creditors to solve your debt.

It would help if you were sure you’re working with a legit agency since so many bad actors exist. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling can help you find a trustworthy counselor.

Kings are also a good idea. If you’re a homeowner, you can take out a home equity loan, open a home equity line of credit, or get a reverse mortgage. Maybe you can tap your retirement fund, although that move involves the Inter. Checking with a financial advisor before wrestling with your credit card debt—N is also a good idea Revenue Service.

How To Avoid Using Plastic

Try to get on payment plans where possible. If you’re worried about mounting credit card debt, it makes sense not to add to it. Therefore, you might want to inquire into a layaway plan when making a major purchase. Or a small business may be amenable to allowing you to make payments over months.

Now that you know how seniors can get help with credit card debt, you can make a plan that works for you, then enjoy your golden years in financial peace.