Credit Card Debt Creeps Upward

One might think the Great Recession of 2008 may have sworn most Americans off their habit of whipping out a piece of plastic for every purchase, but it’s a lesson we’re quickly forgetting.

The US Census Bureau and the Fed finds the amount of credit card debt American households are accumulating is on the rise, according to an analysis by ValuePenguin.  Analyst Robert Harrow breaks it down by state.  “For Texas specifically the average consumer is carrying around $5,960 dollars in credit card debt,” he says.  “That’s the 12th highest in the nation, right behind New Jersey.”  Harrow says that includes households that pay off their balance every month, and those who use cards sparingly.

For those addicted to their cards, the numbers add up quickly.  Households that carry a balance average $16,048 in debt.  “It can take 27 years to pay it off if they’re continually only making minimum payments,” says Harrow. “Over that time they will accumulate $20,000 in interest.” 

Harrow says the average interest rate is 17%, and says it’s important to know the best credit cards to get the best deals.  The study finds credit card debt has increased 10% in the past three years.

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