It is no secret that many American families struggle with debt. Credit card debt is particularly difficult to pay down, leading some Connecticut residents to seek debt relief options. However, before considering restructuring or bankruptcy, it is important to understand one of the foundational myths about credit cards and their impact on American lives.

Many people erroneously believe that carrying a balance on a credit card has a positive influence on credit scores. In fact, some 43 million Americans carry a balance specifically for this reason. Unfortunately, the opposite is often true. The higher the balance on the credit card relative to the limit, the lower a credit score might turn out to be.

This is not the only reason carrying a balance can be financially disadvantageous. Carrying a balance means paying interest on that amount, which can rack up quickly for higher balance customers. The average yearly interest on a credit card is over 16 percent, leading some card holders to sink deeper and deeper into insurmountable debt. Instead of carrying a balance, it can be more helpful to pay balances in full and on time, something many consumers still struggle with.

Thankfully, for Connecticut residents and others the country over, options are available for debt relief. If an individual or household is struggling under debt that has become unmanageable, consolidation options are available. For more challenging situations, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing can lead to unsecured debt like credit cards to be discharged by the court, allowing card holders to get back on their fiscal feet.