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Credit card users seek relief from debt

Many Louisiana consumers are struggling with credit card debt that is difficult to repay. On average, Americans have around $38,000 in personal debt, not including home loans. When financial circumstances change, it can seem impossible to handle debt repayment at all, and late fees and other penalties may begin to add up. In addition, when people make only the minimum payments on their credit cards, they continue to face escalating debt due to interest, even if they do not make any new purchases.

People who are facing credit card debt may look for a solution, and many turn to companies to settle or consolidate it. This is especially true when collection calls start to come in over time. However, there can be unexpected challenges that accompany efforts to seek debt relief. Companies may offer to arrange a debt settlement, but they may take significant fees for themselves even when their clients take a hit to their credit score.

People can also try to negotiate their debt on their own. They can contact the issuers and speak with the hardship department. In some cases, card issuers might extend the due date, remove some late fees or negotiate the interest rate, depending on their policies and their approach to the particular client. If the debt has gone so long without payment that it has been transferred to a collection agency, most agencies will negotiate a settlement. Borrowers would pay a certain amount and another amount would be forgiven, usually related to interest or late fees.

When people face overwhelming debt, they can also look toward more systematic approaches to debt relief. A bankruptcy lawyer could provide advice and guidance about filing for personal bankruptcy. This also affects a person's credit score, but could provide much more significant relief.

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