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January 2018 Archives

Credit debt is up, but so are credit scores

Residents of Massachusetts who have higher credit card debt than they did a year ago might take some comfort in knowing that they are not alone. Americans have more credit card debt now than they did a year ago, according to an Experian annual study, and the Federal Reserve reports that in 2017, the country reached a record high of more than $1 trillion in credit card debt. But the good news is that credit scores are up, too, which suggests that Americans are doing a pretty good job of handling their debts.

Survey of over 1,000 adults shows lifelong expectation of debt

Most people in Massachusetts live with some form of debt, whether it be from credit card bills or home loans. A survey of 1,114 people across the nation conducted by produced a pessimistic view about people's expectations of ever escaping debt. Large majorities of respondents across all age groups expected to never achieve a debt-free life.

Looking at debt levels by generation

Massachusetts residents may be pleased to hear that the average credit score in America has increased in the past year to 675. That is the highest it has been since 2007. While many assume that millennials struggle with credit, they do not have the lowest average credit score when broken down by generation. That would be Generation Z with an average score of 634.

Retirement assets may be exempt from bankruptcy

People who file for personal bankruptcy typically do so because they cannot pay their bills with their current earnings and assets. However, many people who seek relief from the Massachusetts bankruptcy courts have some money saved for retirement. Bankruptcy laws protect some retirement accounts from being liquidated, but there are circumstances that could cause a person to lose all or some of their invested savings.

Credit card debt is on the rise

Credit cards are being utilized by consumers in Massachusetts and other states now more than ever. According to a report from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, credit card accounts and the average amount of credit card debt among consumers have increased over the last two years. The number of credit cards paid late or not at all has also increased.