The latest reports available suggest that, while the vast majority of people in the Tallahassee area and around the country continue to amass or at least owe different types of consumer debt, a surprising number of them, more than 1 out of 4, have no real plan as to how they will pay off their debts.
Judging by the report, people are least prepared to handle a hefty medical bill. Over one-third of all people have no specific plan as to how they will pay down these obligations.
This isn't terribly surprising since medical bills often take Floridians by surprise, as no one really knows how much a medical bill will be until after it arrives in the mail. On the other hand, no one is going to forego an important or even life-saving treatment just for the sake of saving money.
Another area where people do not have plans is with respect to education debt, with 30 percent of those surveyed indicating they had not plan for dealing with student loans and other expenses related to education.
On the other hand, people were doing relatively well planning for their mortgage payments, as fewer than 1 in 5 people said that they had no plan as to how they were going to make the next payment on the house.
As a whole, people were also a little more on top of how they were going to manage their credit card debt, with 73 percent of those surveyed saying they had a plan for paying it down.
Not planning how to pay down a debt can have serious consequences, from just winding up taking longer to pay off a balance, and thus incurring additional interest, to getting behind or even facing a financial crisis.
While there are certain techniques one can use to pay off credit cards while juggling other debts, sometimes a Florida family may recognize they are simply in over their heads and do not have a plan because no plan would work. In these sorts of cases, bankruptcy may be the best option.
Source: CNBC, "Many Americans don't have a plan to pay off their debts," Catherine Campo, Dec. 21, 2017.