How can the elderly stop paying credit card debts?

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    Jordan Moore
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    #33123
    Jordan Moore
    Keymaster

    If you’re older and grappling with credit card debt, unfortunately, there aren’t special exceptions to get it resolved. The paths to tackling credit card debt don’t change much with age. 

    But, there might be social services or programs in your area tailored to helping seniors manage their finances and get out of debt. And remember certain incomes — think Social Security, pensions, and retirement accounts — are generally safe from creditors.

    And however morbid, you may be thinking about what happens to your debt if you die. When someone dies, their estate—everything they owned—gets used to pay off their debts. An executor sorts this out, paying secured debts like mortgages first. 

    If there’s not enough to cover everything, some debts, like credit cards, might not get paid. Joint account holders or cosigners could be responsible for the rest. In some states, spouses might have to pay debts taken on during the marriage. However, life insurance and retirement accounts usually go directly to beneficiaries without being used for debts. Federal student loans often get erased, but private ones might not. It’s complicated, and laws vary, so it’s wise to consult a legal expert when dealing with these matters.

    Here are the debt paydown steps we recommend regardless of age:

    1. Review your budget: Identify and cut non-essential expenses to free up cash for debt repayment.
    2. Consider debt consolidation: Combine debts into one loan with a lower interest rate for simpler, potentially cheaper payments.
    3. Seek credit counseling: Non-profit agencies can offer guidance and possibly help negotiate lower rates and a single monthly payment.
    4. Negotiate with creditors: Ask for lower rates, settlement offers, or manageable payment plans. Explore hardship options for difficult times.

    Get legal advice if needed: A bankruptcy attorney can advise on whether bankruptcy is a viable option to eliminate unsecured debts.

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StellarFinance, Inc. and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.

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