than a quarter of Americans — some 28 percent — say
they carry balances on their credit cards from month to
month, according to a new survey by Creditcards.com.
Among those with card debt, 43 percent say they’ve had
a revolving balance for at least two years.
the average interest rate for new credit card offers
hovering around 16 percent, revolving balances are a
wildly expensive way to borrow money.
credit card debt is a slippery slope," said Matt
Schulz, senior industry analyst at Creditcards.com.
"What may seem inconsequential at first can quickly
grow into overwhelming debt.
line: Stick to your budget and only charge what you know
you can pay off each month."
said than done, right?
many people run up big bills by splurging, others go
into debt buying groceries and other necessities or are
hit with major, unexpected expenses such as car repair
and medical bills they can only pay on credit.
the Creditcards.com survey, which polled 2,005 adults,
the most common reason cited for carrying credit card
debt was keeping up with day-to-day expenses (32
making more money might not solve the problem.
survey found people making more than $50,000 a year were
more likely than lower-income earners to carry a credit
card balance — 38 percent vs. 24 percent. Those with a
higher education and full-time workers also are more
likely to be revolvers.
Probably because higher earners get more card offers and
higher credit limits, experts say.
addition, "Higher income folks may simply be less
concerned about the cost of carrying credit card debt
than other folks," Schulz said.
Americans were most likely to carry credit card debt,
the survey found, including 36 percent of Gen Xers (age
37-52) and 33 percent of young baby boomers (age 53-62).
other age groups, 26 percent of millennials (18-36) were
revolvers, followed by 24 percent of older baby boomers
(63-71) and 19 percent of the Silent Generation (72 and
start digging out of debt, Creditcards.com offered the
Consider a balance transfer card. A zero percent balance
transfer card offers an interest-free way to pay down
debt, typically over 12 months. If you don’t qualify,
call your credit card company and ask for a lower rate.
An earlier survey by Creditcards.com found almost 70
percent of people got their interest rate cut simply by
Analyze your statement. Analyze what you are spending
your money on. Review the section that tallies interest
rate charges over time. It may shock you into spending
Create a payment plan. Draw up a monthly budget and
commit to using extra cash to pay down card balances.
Nonprofit credit counseling agencies can help with
Pay in cash when possible. Studies have shown people
spend up to 30 percent more when they pay with a credit
card vs. cash.