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Survey Highlights Mounting Credit Card Debt As A Problematic Trend

[Wednesday, August 30th, 2017]

More households are carrying debt on their credit cards, according to a survey from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. The 2017 Financial Literacy Survey highlighted the top concerning financial trends; besides mounting credit card debt, it found that folks are saving less money, and are increasingly concerned about their long-term financial stability.

Since the previous year, more American adults said they are carrying revolving credit card debt; last year 35% indicated that they carry a balance from month to month, while this year 39% did. About 16% of respondents said they have more than $2,500 in credit card debt that rolls over each month, compared to 14% in last year’s survey. Interest rates are expected to rise over the next year, making it even more worrisome that folks are carrying such a heavy debt load.

Susan Keating, president and CEO of the NFCC, said the survey results are troubling. “It is concerning that so many Americans remain in such a fragile financial position…credit card debt is on the rise, and people are not saving for a financially healthy future.”

Battling credit card debt with balance transfers

One way to pay down credit card debt quickly is to transfer the debt to a zero-percent interest balance transfer credit card. These are cards that offer a 0% APR for a limited time; the promotional period is usually anywhere from six months to 21 months. Folks can save on interest and pay down the debt faster, compared to keeping the debt on a higher interest credit card.

Low APR credit cards, being mindful of spending, and sticking to a budget are all ways of preventing going into credit card debt. Credit cards are a useful financial tool, and using them to get cash back, points, frequent flyer miles, and other rewards is very handy as well. As long as you don’t spend more than you can afford to pay off, a credit card is a very useful thing to have.

The NFCC’s Financial Literacy Survey was conducted online by Harris Poll and included responses from more than 1600 adults across the United States.

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