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Americans Struggling With Credit Card Debt, Survey Reveals

Image Source: dean bertoncelj / Shutterstock

A recent survey by Bankrate, a prominent financial services company, uncovered a worrisome financial trend in the United States: once again, credit card debt surpasses personal savings. According to the survey, one in three Americans admitted to having more credit card debt than emergency savings, echoing similar findings from the previous year.

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Generation X Faces Highest Credit Card Debt

While debt levels have increased across all generations from 2021 to 2022, Generation X shoulders the largest burden with an average credit card debt of $8,134 per person, according to Bankrate’s data. Baby boomers trail behind with an average debt of $6,245, while Millennials and Generation Z carry slightly less, with average balances of $5,649 and $2,854, respectively. The Silent Generation, born between 1928-1946, carries the lowest average credit card debt at $3,316.

Challenges in Paying Off Credit Card Debt

Americans are acutely aware of the challenges posed by credit card debt, as indicated by the results of the Bankrate survey. Only 50% of respondents express confidence in their ability to clear their credit card balances, adding to the financial strain faced by many households nationwide. In the final quarter of 2023, credit card balances surged by $50 billion, marking a 4.6% increase, while delinquencies in card payments are also rising, signaling heightened financial pressure, particularly among younger and lower-income households.

Strategies for Tackling Credit Card Debt

Given these pressing issues, financial experts recommend specific steps to alleviate the weight of credit card debt. Greg McBride, Bankrate’s Chief Financial Analyst, highlights the significance of addressing the growing cost of debt and the inadequate level of emergency savings. “With only half of Americans confident in their ability to pay off their balances, more individuals are now focusing on reducing debt and bolstering emergency savings concurrently, rather than prioritizing one over the other,” McBride emphasizes.

Amid economic uncertainties, Bankrate advises individuals to proactively manage their credit card debt and enhance their emergency savings to navigate these challenging times.

Image Source: dean bertoncelj / Shutterstock

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