Advantage CCS Publishes an Infographic on Causes of Debt

October 24, 2013 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Advantage Credit Counseling Services, a non-profit credit and debt counseling organization, released an infographic that breaks down some of the major areas that get Americans into financial trouble. The three types covered are: medical expenses, divorce expenses, and student loans. While they are not typically the first sources of debt that come to mind, they can have a devastating toll on a person's finances and credit score.

Less than half of Americans (45%) have health insurance, and even with insurance, there can be complications when medical emergencies arise. Of working age Americans, 41% either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt. In fact, 61% of medical bills cause personal bankruptcies in the US. Health care has been more difficult to afford even with insurance, however, because from 2000 to 2006 alone, health care premiums rose 87%.

People expect divorce to take an emotional toll, but it's harder to predict the financial toll. After attorney fees, court fees, and account fees add up, a person may have already lost tens of thousands of dollars. During the proceedings, complications with joint bank and credit card accounts may damage the credit score of both parties. A divorce may also result in the loss or partial loss of a personal 401(k) to a former spouse or any dependents.

Student loans have been a growing problem for Americans. From 1979-2013, average college tuition increased by 900%. As of 2010, student loan debt surpassed credit card debt, which now stands at $900 billion to $856.5 billion, respectively. Of the 66% of students who graduate with student loans (at an average of $25,000), 14% default on their loans within 3 years. With millions of students graduating every year, this sets some hard lifestyle and savings choices for most of the nation's young professionals.

For more information about how medical, divorce, and educational expenses contribute to personal debt, see the full infographic:

Advantage CCS is a non-profit credit counseling firm that provides Debt Management Programs, bankruptcy counseling, financial education, and budgeting services. If you are struggling to eliminate your debt, contact a certified financial advisor at Advantage CCS: