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Massachusetts residents carry above-average credit card debt

According to a recent report, Massachusetts residents carry an average credit debt balance that is slightly above the national average. According to a recent report, the average Massachusetts resident carries $5,142 in credit card debt, compared to the national average of $4,965. Compared with the other states, Massachusetts ranks 19th with respect to average credit card balances.

Of course, the average credit card balance is not necessarily indicative of the poor financial health of either a state or, for that matter, an individual. In addition to inquiring as to the balance of an individual's overall credit card balance, an assessment of a person's financial health should also consider the person's income and other debts and assets. Large credit card bills normally do not present a problem when one can pay them off in a timely fashion.

In this respect, this same recent report also noted that the number of credit card delinquencies has fallen, meaning that even if people are becoming more willing to take debt, they seem to be able to pay them off or, at a minimum, have some confidence that they will be able to repay their debts.

Still, these statistics suggest that the average Massachusetts resident may be more vulnerable with respect to facing insurmountable credit card debt should he or she lose a job or find himself or herself in an unexpected financial emergency. In such situations, even a relatively modest credit card bill can quickly spin out of control with interest and penalties. Sometimes, even one of these credit bills can make it nearly impossible to achieve financial freedom and stability.

While there may be other options for resolving a stubborn credit bill, a Massachusetts resident in se ere financial straits may want to consider filing for bankruptcy as an option. A bankruptcy can help a debtor discharge his or her credit card balances so that he or she can get a fresh financial start and hopefully turn his or her fortunes around.

Source: The Washington Post, "Ranking the states: credit card debt," Reid Wilson, Aug. 20, 2013