Big banks are rejoicing as more and more Minnesota consumers take out credit cards. In fact, 171 million Americans now carry at least one credit card. This is the highest this number has been in over a decade. In addition, outstanding credit card debt hit a record $1 trillion this year. A lot of analysts say that no one should panic over this dramatic rise in credit card use. However, a lot of working-class consumers in Minnesota now use credit cards to cover medical bills and other necessary expenses. They struggle to keep up with minimum payments every month, barely chipping away at the interest charges.
Sadly, many of these heavily indebted Minnesotans end up turning to bankruptcy. Then, they are left with crippled finances and ruined credit scores. It appears that an ever-increasing number of consumers are becoming reliant on credit cards to make ends meet, and this is a troubling trend.
How Working-Class Minnesota Consumers Become Dependent on Credit Cards
According to a recent survey conducted by the Federal Reserve, almost half of the respondents said that they wouldn’t be able to cover a sudden $400 expense without borrowing money. This indicates that a lot of consumers in Minnesota and other states have little or no savings. The truth is that in Minnesota and throughout the country, wages remain stagnant as costs rise. Pushed to their breaking points, consumers turn to credit cards to cover expenses when the cash runs out.
A few years ago, many of these Minnesota consumers may have been denied credit cards due to low credit scores. Now, however, many banks have looser standards for approval. Having lost opportunities in other areas, the biggest banks have turned to consumer lending to generate profit. Banks are approving more credit card applicants, and pulling in considerable revenue from interest charges.
Minnesota credit card users pay banks heavy interest charges because they build heavy balances and carry them over from month to month. Typically, this happens when a consumer’s income does not cover their expenses. Credit cards are used to bridge the gap between monthly income and monthly expenses. Then, the resulting debt just doesn’t go away. In the worst cases, Minnesota consumers accumulate several credit cards and struggle to cover the minimum payments due every month. Unfortunately, though, when balances reach certain levels, minimum payments only cover interest charges. This is how Minnesotans who become too reliant on credit cards to make ends meet run into major financial problems and credit score damage.
How Minnesota Consumers Can Avoid Credit Card Dependence
Ideally, Minnesota consumers should use credit cards as credit building tools. By charging small amounts and paying balances off every month, credit card users can actually improve their credit scores. On the other hand, treating credit cards as supplemental income usually leads to heavy debt and lower credit scores.
For a lot of Minnesota residents struggling to make ends meet, radical re-budgeting is the only way to avoid credit card dependence. Every month, consumers should add up their recurring bills and necessary expenses. Then, they should subtract this total from their expected income. Any money that remains may qualify as expendable income, but only after some cash is set aside for savings. Building an emergency fund is important, and, quite possibly, the key to creating a successful budget. With money set aside to cover unexpected expenses, consumers avoid several potential risks. For example, Minnesotans with emergency funds won’t have to rely on credit cards or payday loans to cover unplanned bills. Also, they won’t need to miss payments on other bills either, and this protects their credit scores.
Another Way for Minnesota Consumers to Build and Protect their Credit Scores
Minnesota residents working hard to build good credit scores deserve to see their efforts turn into progress. This is why it is most unfortunate when creditors and the credit bureaus make mistakes that work against them. Sadly, when these organizations mishandle consumer information, it results in credit reports errors that damage credit scores.
For this reason, consumers in Minnesota should know that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) entitles them to error-free credit reports and accurate credit scores. However, in order to challenge mistakes on their credit reports, consumers should check them at least once every 12 months.
You can quickly and easily request copies of your credit reports from TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. Then, while reviewing them, if you spot inaccuracies on any of your credit reports, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Minnesota. When you call or email our firm, and experienced credit repair lawyer will go to work on your behalf. No matter what it takes, we will get you clean credit reports, and we’ll do it for FREE.
The Free and Legal way to Get Better Credit
Don’t let errors on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? The law allows us to collect our fees and costs from the defendants in any successful action. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (612) 235-4458 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about Free Credit Repair, please visit https://www.creditrepairlawyersam.com/minnesota/credit-repair/.