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By Robert Juliano, Vice President of Community Development at Beneficial Bank

As a nation, we are in a debt crisis. Today in the U.S., there are more than 576 million credit cards in circulation. Current credit card debt in the nation stands at $826 billion. There are 54 million households that have credit card debt, and, the average debt for each of these households is nearly $16,000.

How did we get here in the first place? When credit cards debuted in the 1960’s, consumers used them for large, life-improving purchases. People paid off the balance on the credit card as soon as they were able. Fast-forward to today, everyone has become accustomed to using credit cards for nearly every purchase they make and do not understand the repercussions and perils of carrying large amount of debt.

Carrying large amounts of debt tarnishes your credit score. It becomes nearly impossible to pay off what you owe to a credit card company and you become stuck in a cycle where you are dependent on your credit card.

Both consumers and financial institutions have played a part a role in creating this current credit card situation. Nearly every one of us has used a credit card for an unnecessary purchase. And there are a number of financial institutions that gave credit cards to those that truly could not afford to pay back the purchases they were making.

At Beneficial Bank, we believe that there is no better time than right now to make a change and cut back our dependence on credit cards. As an Education Company, we do not issue credit cards. Instead, we invest our time and resources into educating our customers how they can use cash and debit cards to manage their finances. We consider ourselves to be in the financial services industry, not the financial sales industry. Beneficial puts a priority on putting its customers first.

If you are looking for a banking partner, I urge you to look at Beneficial. We are here to here to help you to reach all of your money goals. We have the tools and resources to help you to do the right thing financially. Read more at www.thebeneficial.com.

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