Americans are piling up credit card debt to cope with inflation


More Americans are taking on credit card debt as inflation pushes up the cost of food, utilities and other necessities.

According to a new Report Data from CreditCards.com shows that 60% of credit card holders have at least a year’s worth of credit card balances, a 10% increase from 2021.

“It’s harder to get out of debt when it’s spending on essentials in the first place,” said Ted Rossman, senior analyst at Creditcards.com. “These expenses are not easy to avoid.”

According to the report, 59% of Americans with an annual income of less than $50,000 have a monthly credit card balance. That percentage dropped slightly to 49% for those earning between $50,000 and $80,000 a year, and again to 46% for those earning between $80,000 and $100,000 a year.

The CreditCards.com report is based on an online survey of 1,834 cardholders conducted last month. Cardholders also report being heavily in debt due to having to pay for unexpected expenses such as medical bills or home and car repairs.

Consumer prices soar despite inflation cooling in July and August 8.3% last 12 months, higher costs for groceries, housing and medical care offset recent declines in gasoline prices. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and fuel prices, rose 6.3 percent in August, up from 5.9 percent in the previous month.


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Americans owe $887 billion in credit card debt as of June 2022, according to to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Ron Hetrick, a senior economist at Lightcast, told CBS News last month that that’s up about 13 percent from a year earlier, “which is the largest increase in credit card debt we’ve seen in more than 20 years.”

Credit card debt is building up as the cost of plastic rises. According to LendingTree, the average interest rate on new credit cards is between 18% and 25%.

“Even people with the best credit (scores) can expect to pay 18% or more in interest on their new credit card,” Matt Schultz, credit analyst at LendingTree, said in an email.



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