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Michael D. Hart, P.C.
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Credit card debt may be harder for women to repay

Credit card debt levels continue to rise in Virginia and throughout the country. The average credit card debt balance is $5,700, and women tend to have more difficulty paying down their balances in full. There are many possible reasons to explain why this may be the case. First, some believe that women don't have the same level of financial literacy as men do. However, this is not necessarily their fault.

Magazines geared toward women tend to avoid talking about financial issues such as how to manage debt compared to those geared toward men. Retailers that sell goods primarily to females tend to promote their credit cards as an alternative to paying for a purchase in cash. Women may also have a harder time paying down their debt because they make less than men in general. On average, their median annual income is just 80% of a man's median annual income.

Therefore, they have less money to pay down a balance with, and it can be even more challenging to manage credit card debt while trying to raise a child. In some cases, parents actually accrue debt each month instead of paying it down because they have to use credit cards to survive. This is true despite the fact that the economy is doing well with unemployment at just 3.7%.

Credit card debt may be reorganized as part of a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan. A repayment plan may allow debtors to pay a portion of what they owe or make payments at a lower interest rate. During the repayment period, creditors generally cannot repossess a house, car, or other property. However, this assumes that a debtor makes each plan payment on time. An attorney might be able to provide other benefits of bankruptcy.

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