Americans are increasingly relying on their credit cards to pay for a multitude of everyday expenses. For people who don’t pay their credit card bills in full every month (approximately 43 percent of card holders), that means that they’re paying far more than they realize for everyday products and services. The average American pays more than $900 annually in interest alone.
It’s no wonder that last year Americans owed more than $1 trillion in credit card debt. Our credit card debt seems to be growing. According to Experian’s annual study, the average American’s credit card debt last year increased by 3 percent, to nearly $6,400.
While it may seem like racking up credit card debt is just part of the American lifestyle, NerdWallet’s recent study found that 86 percent of the 2,000 people surveyed said they regretted having it and that it caused them stress. They cited the interest fees and the time it took to pay it off.
A NerdWallet spokesperson says, “There’s nothing inherently wrong with using a credit card; the problem is when you don’t pay off the balance. Because the interest is so high, it can snowball so quickly.” While the best course of action is to pay off your balance every month, she notes that at the very least, people should make their minimum monthly payments. Otherwise, you’re charged a late fee.
If your credit card debt has gotten too high to manage, you should explore your options for getting it under control before it impacts your credit rating. An attorney who is experienced in debt relief can help.
Source: CNBC, “Why credit card debt can be bad for your health,” Jessica Dickler, Feb. 13, 2018