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There’s no question about it, debt in America is a problem, especially credit card debt among Americans. At the moment, Americans are more likely to pay with a credit card versus cash than at any other period in recorded time. The thought of earning rewards like points and cash are exciting and card holders can’t wait to get earning.
According to the Federal Reserve, Americans owe a record $1.04 trillion in credit card debt, up from less than $854 billion five years ago. According to Ted Rossman, an industry analyst at research group creditcards.com, about 40 percent of Americans have enough income to pay off their balance and do so in full every month. For them, a high credit card balance is not a problem.
For the remaining 60 percent, however, maintaining a high credit card balance can mean hundreds of dollars in interest payments a year and likely lower credit scores to boot.
On average, Americans owe $6,354 on bank-issued credit cards. At the state level, average credit card debt per capita varies a lot. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the average bank card balance from creditcards.com to identify the states with the most credit card debt.
Thanks to the study done by Value Penguin, we can determine the household debt average based on each state. Below, you can see the results of their research.
How Can I Get Better Control Of My Credit Card Debt?
With so many Americans struggling to control their debt, we felt it’s fair to ask, what can you do to control your credit card debt?
Only Use Your Credit When Needed - It’s super easy to shop for something you want when you have available credit on your credit card. It doesn’t take long at all to get into trouble.
Make More Money - While this is an obvious one, you may be currently in a position where you don’t have enough money to pay on your credit cards. You can always get a second job but you may also want to consider other ways to make money, like having a yard sale or helping serve others.
Balance Transfers With No APR - If you do have good credit, you may be able to apply for a balance transfer credit card that has no interest for several months. You can wipe out a few credit card balances by transferring them to a new credit card and avoiding the high interest to boot.
Getting A Loan - Another way you can eliminate credit card debt and save money is by getting a loan. If you do this, you then only have the interest on the loan to worry about. However, if you can get a low APR, it can save you a lot of money.
Don’t Apply For Credit You Don’t Need - If you have 20+ credit cards, you may have a problem with applying for credit you don’t need. While it can be tempting to apply for new credit cards coming in the mail, only apply to what you need, not what you want.
Control Your Spending - If you want to eliminate your credit card debt, you have to control your spending. If you haven’t yet, make a budget plan and follow through with it.