Tips to stay out of credit card debt

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The Federal Reserve has announced that the United States has officially surpassed the previous record of $1.021 trillion dollars in credit card debt in 2008 to the new record of $1.023 trillion as of November.

Darrel Dunham is a bankruptcy attorney in Carbondale who has seen his fair share of clients stricken with debt due to finance failures.

"I think what happens is they don't really know what's happening to them," he said, on people finding themselves in credit card debt unexpectedly.  "It's a little bit of a temptation at the start."

He added that people also find themselves in emergencies where credit cards are the only option to pay due to lack of funds, which can happen to anyone.

To avoid credit card debt, Dunham has some easy, somewhat obvious points of advice for individuals.

  • Don't get a credit card if you don't have a source of income
  • Budget to pay all credit card bills at the end of the month
  • Set aside money to help with emergencies when needed
  • Monitor the credit card offers made to your dependents so you don't get stuck with their debt

Above all, Dunham says staying out of debt requires discipline. He says to manage expenditures and income carefully, and most importantly, don't spend money you don't have.

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