It is not uncommon for consumers in Maryland to find themselves facing mountains of credit card debt. Many people find relief by filing for consumer bankruptcy protection made available by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Due to the prevalence of such filings, some consumers are hesitant to get credit cards.

It can be beneficial to have a credit card for more than just the convenience of easy payment. If used responsibly, it can increase the holder’s credit score. As long as a person does not spend more than what he or she can afford to pay at the end of that month, debt will not accumulate. Also, if the full amount is paid by the due date, the account will not be subject to interest.

Some suggest that credit cards must be treated as debit cards that can only be used to pay amounts that are available in a bank account and suggest consumers do a simple transfer to cover the month’s credit card debt at the end of each month. Problems arise when consumers are tempted to spend the full available credit limit, essentially putting them at huge financial disadvantages. If one credit card is used for a single monthly expense — it can even be left in a drawer at home to avoid using it for something else — the individual’s credit score will slowly climb, and additional cards can be obtained in time.

However, if a Maryland consumer has fallen into the credit card trap before learning the necessary lessons about responsible credit card spending — or if an unexpected emergency brought about excessive debts, remedies are available. By filing for consumer bankruptcy, an immediate stay will become effective, and all creditor actions will be stopped. A means test will determine whether a person qualifies for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Some consumers choose to utilize the services of experienced bankruptcy attorneys to guide and support them through the legal process.

Source: finance.yahoo.com, “A simple question can help you figure out whether you should get a credit card”, Libby Kane, July 5, 2016