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Average Credit Card Debt in America Surges Over $6,500

Average Credit Card Debt in America Surges Over $6,500

May 6, 2024

Average Credit Card Debt in America Surges Over $6,500

In a recent study by Scholaroo, it has been revealed that credit card debt in the United States has reached an average of $6,555 per cardholder. The survey, which encompassed over 2,000 individuals across the nation during the final quarter of 2023, found that New Jersey residents bear the heaviest burden with an average debt of $8,155 per credit card.

Following closely behind New Jersey is Connecticut, averaging $8,011 in credit card debt. Maryland, New York, and Alaska also rank high on the list, with debts exceeding $7,600 per cardholder. The top ten states with the highest average credit card debt, including Colorado, California, Massachusetts, Florida, and Hawaii, all surpass the $7,400 mark.

Conversely, Mississippi holds the lowest average, with credit card debt standing at $5,186, which is 20 percent beneath the national average. Kentucky and Indiana also report lower-than-average debts, with figures around $5,295.

Bruce McClary, the senior vice president of Membership & Media Relations for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), commented on the findings to The Epoch Times. "The amount of debt is not surprising as many people are forced to use their credit cards just to stay afloat," he said, citing inflation and fluctuating gas prices as key factors driving people to depend on credit. The NFCC's own poll mirrored Scholaroo's findings, accentuating the financial strain on Americans, with nearly 32 percent barely managing financially and 62 percent concerned about government instability impacting their finances in the next year.

McClary highlighted the dangers of carrying high debt levels, particularly when consumers make only minimum payments, which can lead to years of debt repayment and inhibit their ability to save money. Furthermore, the NFCC poll revealed that 31 percent of Americans fail to pay all their bills on time, and only 42 percent maintain a budget.

The most affected demographics include singles, renters, parents with children under 18, and individuals earning $50,000 or less annually. Rent increases have exacerbated the credit card debt issue, with McClary noting, "Most are paying way more than the recommended percent of their income toward rent."

Despite these challenges, the popularity of credit cards remains high in the U.S., with almost 45.5 percent of Americans opening at least one new account last year, leading to 542.6 million new accounts by the end of 2023. Debit cards are still the preferred method for day-to-day expenses for over 50 percent of the population, but credit cards remain a close second, being used by 36 percent of Americans for daily transactions.

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