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Medical debt can overwhelm family budgets

Overwhelming debt can make life extremely difficult for many families in Illinois. Not surprisingly, one of the biggest contributors to insolvency is medical debt. Almost half of the respondents to a 2017 Federal Reserve survey noted that they had received at least one medical bill in the past year that they could not pay.

Misinformation about the effect of bankruptcy on credit

Illinois consumers who file for bankruptcy should understand the process before they do so, and this includes understanding certain myths about how it affects credit. For example, some people may have heard that having negative information on a credit report will bring down their score more compared to people who have no negative information on the credit report, but the lack or presence of either positive or negative information does not affect the severity of the hit a person's credit takes. However, the amount of debt and the number of accounts involved may.

What to know about credit card debt

Illinois residents and others across America have seen their annual credit card debt levels increase since 2015. That year, Americans accrued $43 billion in debt while that number rose to $87 billion and $92.2 billion in 2017. Overall, the Federal Reserve says Americans have more than $1 trillion in outstanding credit card debt. The $92.2 billion accrued in 2017 was the highest total seen since 2007, which was just before the Great Recession.

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