Owning your own home is part of the quintessential American Dream. Unfortunately, for a large percentage of the U.S. population, this dream seems impossible. For many younger adults, low-income levels combined with high levels of personal debt make home ownership unattainable.
Whether you have a few thousand dollars or a few hundred thousand dollars in credit card debt, you probably want to eliminate that debt as fast as possible. Your credit card debt could be affecting your emotional wellbeing, as well as your finances.
The United States did away with debtors' prisons a long time ago. So the short answer to your question is, no, you will not go to prison if you fail to pay your credit card bill.
The causes and reasons for credit card debt troubles are many and varied, but the symptoms are always the same -- not having enough money to pay your credit card in full each month. If you combine this kind of situation with a family emergency that requires a large expenditure of cash, you can see how things can quickly get out of control.
You won't go to jail for not paying your debts on time, but this wasn't true in the not-too-distant past. From the late 17th century to the early 19th century, states and cities in the United States operated debtors' prisons. These were facilities created to house people who failed to pay their debts. In some cases, the debts they owed were very small.
The leading cause of debt in America is currently student loan debt, totaling around $1 trillion. While medical debt may be rising in the ranks, credit card debt remains the second largest debt total. This total lands around $800 billion in credit card debt held by consumers in Cincinnati and across the United States.
When individuals age, their finances do not necessarily mature at the same rates as they do. As a result, it is certainly possible and increasingly common to reach the age of retirement and beyond while still wrestling with seemingly unmanageable debt. Frustratingly, if this debt is not dealt with in a constructive way, not only will those in debt be potentially plagued by creditor harassment but their loved ones could also be burdened with certain debts after the elderly debtors have passed on.
When consumers are faced with harassment and other abuses committed by big banks, the law generally favors consumer protection but such protections can be difficult to enforce. One state has become frustrated enough on behalf of its citizens who are navigating a legally complex and often abusive web of credit card debt that it has said "enough." California is currently suing banking giant JPMorganChase for allegedly committing "debt collection abuses against tens of thousands of California consumers," according to the New York Times and state court records.