Nancy Nall Reporting

It isn’t just young people prone to miring themselves in credit-card debt. Between 1992 and 2001, people age 65-69 saw their average credit-card balance rise 217 percent — to $4,041, according to the National Consumer Law Center.

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That’s a frightening amount of debt for people on a fixed income to be carrying, particularly at the high interest rates credit cards typically charge. Older Americans are also filing for bankruptcy ” in record numbers,” the NCLC reported in a recent newsletter.

So what’s to be done? If you or a relative has found yourself in that position, you have a variety of options, from the simplest — rebudgeting to making paying off a credit-card debt a high priority — to more complex solutions, like those arranged by a credit counselor.

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The NCLC offers fact sheets on how to find, a reputable credit-counseling agency at their website, here.

In general, they advise taking the time to shop around and ask the right questions. Not all agency plans are right for every individual; be sure to find the one that’s right for your situation.

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