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Are American's financial challenges starting to turn around?

The arrival of 2013 has most likely also brought some of our Tennessee readers a bit more of a debt burden on their credit cards. Buying presents, hosting parties and trying to make the holidays perfect for their families in general can lead some to go a little overboard with spending, leaving them facing financial challenges at the start of the new year. However, even if there was a temporary bump for many Americans in their credit card debt due to the holidays, a recent report has emphasized that, overall, Americans appear to be getting a better grip on their finances.

According to the report, Americans seem to have changed their ways in regards to how they use their credit cards since the economic recession. The average amounts of many kinds of debt are slipping lower. The report indicated that as of November of last year the average amount of outstanding credit card debt was $5,371. That amount is down approximately $1,100 from November of 2011.

Not only is the average credit card balance lower, however, but outstanding auto loan amounts inched lower during that time period as well. And, an even bigger shocker is that student loan debt appears to be falling as well - which would be a major reverse in a trend that had appeared to be on its way skyward with no end.

Still, 2013 will bring more financial challenges for many, even some in Tennessee. There are many approaches to consider when addressing a bad financial situation, but, when an individual or family debt burden becomes more than can be handled, filing for bankruptcy can be the best option in a bad situation. Doing so can stop creditor harassment and begin the return to financial freedom.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Sour end to 2012 masks positive trends in America," Greg McCune, Dec. 31, 2012

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