WAKE FOREST, NC (WTVD) — Inflation continues to affect consumers with regard to credit card debt. A new WalletHub study shows that debt has increased by $67 billion in recent months.
North Carolina ranks ninth for the highest increase in credit card debt in the country. Despite the increase in credit card debt, some consumers can pay off their debt.
“I’ve got all this credit card debt, I’m drowning,” is how Peter Fabrizi said he felt about his credit card debt of over $25,000. “Just irresponsible spending, you know? You have 10 different credit cards and an Amazon card that we can buy whatever you want.”
Fabrizi said home renovations, along with other bad spending habits, caused him to get into credit card debt. Despite paying the minimum monthly payment, the interest rates on each card put him further into debt.
“Some of them were like 20% and above. All of them were like above 15%.”
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Fabrizi isn’t alone as WalletHub’s study shows credit card debt continues to climb, with the average debt per household nearing $9,000. Fabrizi had had enough and started looking for debt relief options. He ended up crossing International financial management.
After sharing her debit information with the nonprofit, a plan was devised to start working on paying off her debt. For him, it helped.
“Dramatically lowered the interest rate, consolidated everything for me, froze all the accounts and then (I) would just make a monthly payment to Money Management International and then they would distribute the money to the businesses.” Slowly, Fabrizi saw his credit card debt reduced. “It took time. It certainly wasn’t overnight, but it was a big help.”
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But not all credit card debt relief companies are created equal. Often scammers pretend they are a legitimate debt relief service in order to squeeze more money out of you.
When it comes to looking for credit repair and debt relief services, here are the red flags to watch out for according to the Better Business Bureau.
- Don’t pay high fees up front, instead get a written contract detailing your rights and the services rendered, as well as the total cost to you.
- Don’t go ahead with a business if you’re told to stop paying your debts and contact your creditors.
- Beware of too-good-to-be-true offers, where a big claim is made, without teaching you about budgeting and money management.
As for Fabrizi, his advice is: “Don’t be afraid to find help. It took a lot of financial discipline, but he paid off his credit card debt of over $25,000 and also boosted his credit rating.
“It’s unbelievable, it’s literally like such a big weight has been lifted off my shoulders,” he added. Along with paying off all that debt, he says he also learned not to go into debt like that anymore.
If you are looking for debt relief, all contracts should offer you a three-day cancellation right. Also, make sure you get all warranties in writing, do your research, and be very careful before paying any money.
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