The holiday season may tempt some Tennessee consumers to use their credit cards for gifts and other spending. According to a survey by CreditCards.com, around half of Generation X and millennials and around one-third of baby boomers said they would be willing to take on credit card debt for the holidays. People who were already in debt were more willing to take on more for the holidays than those who had none. Half of the respondents who had debt said the holidays were a good reason to take on more compared to one-quarter of those with none.
Bankruptcy is a tool that some Tennessee residents have used to get control of their finances. However, deciding to file for bankruptcy is never an easy decision. For example, some individuals may have over $20,000 in credit card debt along with a car loan and wonder if bankruptcy is the best option for them.
Most graduating college students in Tennessee and around the country enter the workplace with tens of thousands of dollars in debt. It is commonly believed that student loans cannot be discharged in a personal bankruptcy, but that is not the case. Individuals who are struggling to cope with student loans may obtain relief by filing a Chapter 7 petition if making their required monthly payments causes them undue hardship.
Veterans of the U.S. military make up a disproportionately large percentage of people who file for bankruptcy. Almost 15% of those who file for protection under Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the Federal Bankruptcy Code are military veterans; the group makes up only around 10% of the population overall. During the year 2017, roughly 125,000 military veterans in Tennessee and across the country filed for bankruptcy. A newly passed federal law will provide greater financial protections to veterans who file for bankruptcy.
The number of bankruptcies filed in Tennessee and around the country by individuals 65 years of age or older is five times higher today that it was just 25 years ago, and one in seven petitions are now made by senior citizens. These are just two of the worrying trends identified by the team of academics behind the Consumer Bankruptcy Project.
Many people in Tennessee struggle to make ends meet. They may be facing mounting credit card bills, medical costs, car loans and more. When people have difficulty paying their bills on time, they may begin to receive calls and letters from collection agencies seeking to be paid for the debt. In some cases, people may even be sued by the debt collectors. Over 70 million Americans have dealt with debt collection agencies, and their tactics can be disturbing at times. Around one-quarter of people felt threatened while dealing with the companies.
Since they came of age during the stock market crash on Wall Street in 2008, many millennials have been wary of taking on debt from big banks. Unfortunately, new research shows that unpaid debts on credit cards are increasing for this younger generation. For Americans age 18 to 29, delinquencies 90 days or older surpassed 8%, which is the highest it has been in more than eight years. There are several factors driving this increase.
When people in Tennessee go to the hospital, they often check carefully to make sure they are choosing a provider that is in-network for their insurance company. This should allow their healthcare treatment to be fully covered to the extent possible under their insurance. However, many people continue to face surprise medical bills that can be costly after a hospital stay. Almost one out of every seven patients receives a bill for an out-of-network service as part of an in-network hospital admission.
Employers in Tennessee want their workers focused on their duties, but stress caused by financial problems, like debt and medical bills, has emerged as a considerable source of distraction. When the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans surveyed companies, 70 percent of them cited financial issues as their employees' top source of stress.
Healthcare remains a hot topic of debate across the country, not just in terms of being a divisive political issue but in real terms affecting real people in Tennessee. Arguments on whether it is a right or not, whether it should be mandatory or optional, and who pays for it all pale in comparison to the fundamental question of what happens when an individual needs a medical procedure that he or she simply cannot afford. Sadly, many choose to do without, resulting in further deterioration to their well-being. Others opt to move forward with the necessary care but often experience a different form of negative consequence.