American confidence in the economy and comfort may be at all time highs, but that is when the ground falls out from underneath consumer’s feet. Credit card debt something that most people live with on a daily basis, is a strong measure of the possibility of such things to happen, because it people cannot pay their bills, it usually is a sign of impending bad times. Such was expressed recently when over a third of Americans in a poll expressed a constant fear of maxing out their credit cards.
More than one-third, or 37%, also said they have already maxed out their credit card and 14% said they have maxed it out more than once. WalletHub polled more than 700 people in January.
Still, most Americans continue to take on ever-increasing amounts of debt. According to data from the Federal Reserve, the U.S. surpassed $1 trillion in credit card debt — the highest level since the Great Recession.
U.S. households with revolving credit card debt owe nearly $7,000, on average, costing them roughly $1,100 a year in interest payments, according to NerdWallet’s 2019 household debt study.
At the same time, about 35% of cardholders are starting 2020 with more credit card debt than they had in the beginning of 2019, according to a separate CompareCards survey.
And fewer cardholders said they paid their monthly balance in full in each of the past six months than compared to one year ago, CompareCards found.
However, more cardholders said they felt “very confident” about their ability to pay their credit cards’ monthly statement balance in full going forward.
“While that confidence is great, it’s almost certainly not going to be the case,” said Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst at CompareCards.
“We are still running up debt, so, at some point, something has to give.”
Credit card interest rates are also near record highs — at more than 17%, according to Schulz, “and there’s no reason to think that is going to change anytime soon.” (source)