The state of Missouri continues to battle debt with an average household credit card balance of $6,491. A closer look at cities in the state revealed that credit card debt along with auto debt has been steadily on the increase in St Louis and other local markets.
For the first quarter of 2018, household credit card debt rose by 2.7 percent, based on released Equifax Consumer Credit Panel figures. Credit card debt remains the most expensive kind of debt there is, with interest rates hitting 16.71 percent in May. However, there are ways you can be free of it and you do not have to do it alone. Let’s take a look at resources available to St Louis residents to help them get their consumer debt under control.
For those looking to tackle their credit card debts, getting a hold of their spending is the first step. With the use of budgets, not only can you control your spending but also identify ways to cut back as well. There are plenty of places in St Louis offering information about budgeting and how to get started including the St Louis Public Library Foundation and nonprofit organizations such as the Money Smart St Louis organization. Their website is regularly loaded with financial tools to help with spending along with recommendations and links to affiliate financial websites such as the Mint budgeting tool.
Financial Literacy and Counseling
A key part of managing your debt is understanding it. Financial education organizations such as Community Action Agency of St. Louis County now offer classes and free training sessions to residents on a range of financial topics including debt counseling, credit card help and saving for retirement. Other organizations such as Clearpoint Credit Counseling Solutions offer one on one sessions with a qualified financial specialist who can suggest your current options available for credit repair and help you understand the terms of your debt. Help is also available for those looking to secure a credit card.
Advantages of Sensible Borrowing
By gaining a solid understanding of your plastic borrowing options, you may discover that credit cards can improve your living situation here in St Louis. Used in the right way, a credit card can turn out to be a great tool for those larger purchases. It can also help to build a solid credit history and make you an attractive candidate for future loans including mortgages.
Consolidation and Refinancing Options
Another option for reducing credit card debt is to look at ways to reduce the cost of the debt. Two of the ways to do this are refinancing and consolidation. Most credit cards offer an interest rate of 15 percent and upwards in the St Louis area. A debt consolidation loan can reduce the interest rate residents are paying on various credit cards and loans and also simplify debt repayments in the future. For those with high interest loans, a consolidation loan can prove to be cheaper and allows you to make more progress on repaying the actual amount borrowed and not interest. Most financial institutions in St Louis now offer a variation of refinancing or consolidation loan including Jefferson Bank and American Equity.
Borrowing done in a sensible way can become a fantastic tool in achieving your life goals. A large part of good debt is borrowing at the lowest possible cost and ensuring that the cost does not outweigh the benefits the debt would bring to your life. It can be a specific method of borrowing, interest rate or even extended charges attached.
There are a magnitude of resources available for residents in St Louis to help them better manage their credit card debt. It all begins with the first step of deciding to make the effort. From there, there is help for you every step of the way from developing a sound debt repayment plan to improving your interest rates.