As readers are well aware, the holiday season tends to put a dent in everybody’s pocketbook. For many people, a lot of the seasonal spending is put on credit cards. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course, but indiscriminate use of credit cards can obviously result in mounting financial problems.
A recent analysis by Smart Asset has apparently rated the Lafayette Metropolitan Statistical Area—which includes Lafayette, St. Martin, Vermillion, Iberia, and Acadia parishes—to be the highest in the state in terms of credit management. Nationally speaking, the Lafayette MSA ranks 127th of the 195 MSAs the group examined.
Smart Asset came up with its rankings by looking at the average amount of debt, credit utilization and foreclosure rates, and the average credit score. Here in the Lafayette area, it was found that consumers have an average debt load of $30,079. Credit utilization came in at 30 percent, and the foreclosure rate was 2.59 percent.
Wise management of credit and other forms of debt is, of course, important for financial success. Sometimes, though, debts can increase and spiral out of control due to the circumstances of one’s life. Loss of employment, major medical bills, divorce and other changing circumstances can result in severe financial stress that is not always feasible to deal with on one’s own.
When credit card and other debt become unmanageable, it is important for debtors to consider their options for recovery, both in and outside the bankruptcy process. In upcoming posts, we’ll look at some non-bankruptcy debt relief options, as well as Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy.