Consumers in Kentucky and across the U.S. are racking up credit card debt at a rate not seen since the Great Recession, according to statistics released by The Nilson Report. The payment trade publication said that outstanding credit card debt reached $1 trillion at the end of 2016.

While household income has increased over the last 10 years, the cost of living has grown at a faster pace. As a result, more Americans are using credit cards to make up the difference. This comes at a high cost, as credit cards are one of the most expensive ways to borrow money. A report by NerdWallet found that the average credit card interest rate is 19.36 percent and the average household pays over $1,300 in credit card interest each year.

Currently, Americans are carrying almost as much debt as they were in December 2007, the dawn of the Great Recession. However, the percentage of debt is more heavily weighted toward student loans and mortgages than it was then. Financial experts also note that more than one-third of all outstanding credit card debt is paid off at the end of each month, meaning that those debts never incur interest charges. In 2016, approximately 157 million Americans had outstanding debt on one or more credit cards.

When debt gets out of hand, it can be frightening and stressful. However, an attorney could assess the situation and explain various debt relief solutions, such as filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. Filing bankruptcy could put a stop to collection efforts and allow a consumer to make a fresh financial start.