Many Americans are swimming in debt and getting in deeper than ever. One report suggests total household debt has risen to 13-trillion-dollars for 2017. Louisiana appears to be America's capital of past due debt, with almost half of residents of the Bayou State have debt that has gone into collections.

Professor of Economics at Xavier University of Louisiana Dr. Jose Bautista says a lot of workers aren’t making enough money.
"We pretty much have seen wages stagnate around the country.  Without increased purchasing power on the part of consumers, they have no other choice but to go into debt."
Another reason credit debt is so high is the lack of a savings account. Dr. Bautista says most are left with no choice but to use credit cards for emergencies, but it starts a slippery downhill slide.
"The principal on those cards become problematic and the personal debt continues to multiply."
Medical bills are a large part of financial distress, especially if there isn’t enough insurance coverage. Dr. Bautista says get coverage to cover all your medical needs.
"Insurance policies that don't compensate for complete expenditures and therefore that compels families to stagger those payments over time."
Dr. Bautista says the best thing for a person to do is to quit using credit cards, establish a savings plan and work up from there to try to eliminate debt.