LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – As inflation continues to make things more expensive, many are turning to credit cards to make ends meet, so 8 News Now asked a financial expert for advice for those struggling to reduce their monthly payments.
A study by “Self,” said in August 2021, Nevada had the highest credit card debt in the nation, with each person carrying an average balance of $3,200.
Jill Shlesinger is one such person, caught in what she calls a “vicious cycle”.
“I just kind of feel like I’m in a debt hole,” she explained.
She opened her business, ‘Starburst Parlor Keto Bakery’ late last year, and because she was unable to secure a business loan at the time, Shlesinger was forced to use cards personal credit to get things started.
Now she’s running out of crippling payments every month.
“I just think ‘oh, this credit card is due, it’s a minimum of 420,'” Shlesinger said.
In May, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said the United States had $841 billion in credit card debt.
Mahesh Odhrani, financial adviser and president of Strategic Wealth Design, said with rampant inflation and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates by 0.75% on Wednesday, things could get much tougher.
“They may not have saved a fund for rainy days,” Odhrani said. “Or have a savings account they can dip into, so where do they go? To credit cards.
However, he said there are options for bouncing back:
- You can transfer your balance to a zero-rate or low-interest card
- If you own a home, transfer your credit card balance to a low-interest home equity line of credit.
- Call your bank or credit card company and try to negotiate a lower rate
- Contact a credit counselor for financial advice
- Go through a debt consolidation company, but make sure the plan focuses on reducing the amount owed without missing payments and keeping your credit score intact
“It’s almost like spinning in a wheel,” Shlesinger explained. “That every time I think I’m going to move on, I have another bill coming.”
As for Shlesinger, she told 8 News Now that she does her best to stay afloat by paying the monthly sales, while serving the community she knows and loves.
“Apart from like a dream or winning the lottery,” Shlesinger concluded. “There is no end.”