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More people taking out student loans, avoiding credit card debt

Americans are becoming increasingly more confident in the economy. This, in turn, is spurring increased spending and new borrowing. According to the Federal Reserve, people are taking out more auto and student loans but have shown less willingness to take on credit card debt.

In September, consumer borrowing rose by $11.4 billion when compared to the previous month. The majority of that amount is student loans, which may be caused by the start of the new school year. The lack of employment may also be spurring more people to return to college for retraining. Car sales are up as well. Combined borrowing for auto and student loans was up $14.3 billion, while credit card borrowing decreased by $2.9 billion.

Conversely, credit card debt has declined 17.1 percent since 2008, when Americans were indebted $1.03 trillion to credit card companies. The decline may be attributed to an unwillingness to take on high-interest debt when the unemployment rate continues to hover around 7.9 percent for the nation.

Without a job, it can be difficult to pay creditors. Delinquent payments often lead to creditor harassment, wage garnishment and other financial challenges. Wisconsin readers struggling with credit card debt, medical debt or other money problems can obtain debt relief by filing for bankruptcy.

Filing for bankruptcy is not always the easy option, particularly if the person has assets he or she wishes to protect. However, it can provide those drowning in debt a fresh start and prevent foreclosure in some cases. It is best to thoroughly research the legalities of the bankruptcy process before proceeding.

Source: Associated Press, "More student loans boost consumer credit $11.4B," Christopher S. Rugaber, Nov. 7, 2012

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