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Who has the most credit card debt? The answer is surprising.

We recently discussed the fact that Millennials are increasingly choosing not to carry credit cards, and that those who do have less credit card debt than older generations. However, for people who do have balances on their credit cards, the amounts are unsettling.

The average household credit card balance for families who have a balance (not factoring in those that don't have cards or who pay them off each month) is over $16,000. That's 10 percent higher than it was just three years ago. A significant amount of that (almost $2,600) is actually interest.

Also troubling is the fact that the amount of credit card debt doesn't necessarily correspond with household income. Households with a net worth of zero or less (negative net worth) average $10,307 in credit card debt. At the other end of the scale, the average debt for households with a net worth of $500,000 is $8,139. Generally speaking, the averages for households with net worth in between those two ends of the spectrum increase as net worth does, from $3,946 upwards.

It's no surprise given these numbers that many people feel overwhelmed by credit card debt. Here are some things that you can consider to help get it under control:

-- Stop using your credit cards and focus on paying down the debt you have as aggressively as possible.

-- Talk to your credit card issuer to see if they'll negotiate with you on the amount you owe -- maybe knocking off some of the amount that's interest. Often, credit card companies would rather take less from the cardholder than go through the expense of sending the account to a collection agency or risk the cardholder going into bankruptcy and discharging the debt.

If you're still feeling overwhelmed, talk to a Pennsylvania bankruptcy attorney to determine what your best options are considering your overall financial picture. Most bankruptcy attorneys offer free initial consultations, so it doesn't have to cost you anything to explore the possibility.

Source: The Motley Fool, "The Average American's Credit Card Debt May Shock You," Matthew Frankel, Oct. 02, 2016

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