EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — U.S. households have combined for a record that no consumer wants: the most credit card debt in history. It totaled nearly one trillion dollars and triggered an increased number of credit card delinquencies.
The amount Americans owe on their credit cards is staggering. Many consumers are scrambling to find a way to dig out of that debt.
Thankfully, there are some useful ways you can include some free assistance in northeastern and central Pennsylvania.
2022 has gone down as the year with the most credit card debt in U.S. history: a whopping $986 billion. Many young consumers contributed to that by missing payments and falling more than 90 days behind.
“It’s not good. It’s scary for young people like her who want to get student loans,” said Jackie Passerini.
It’s concerning for parents like Jackie Passerini who wants her 15-year-old daughter, Samantha, to avoid such a financial pitfall.
“As I try to teach my kids, what you bring into the house moneywise is what you can spend when you go out into the world,” explained Passerini.
Last year, the average U.S. household racked up a credit card debt of $6,474.
Besides overspending, credit card debt is being fueled by inflation and credit card interest rates of nearly 20% the highest APR in nearly four decades.
“It is not a very good time to have credit card debt,” said Rosemary “Posey” Lavelle, counseling manager, at Advantage Credit Counseling Service.
Posey Lavelle with the non-profit Advantage Credit Counseling Service recommends taking a look at the interest rates on your credit card balances.
“Any disposable income you have should be going to the highest balance,” said Lavelle.
Lavelle says another useful way to help ease that credit card debt is to turn the credit card around and call the phone number on the back.
Ask to have your credit card interest rate lowered.
“If you’re a good customer, they want to keep you. Remember that,” expressed Lavelle.
Also, look for balance transfer promotions to help lower your monthly payments.
“But just watch the promo code and see when the promotional period would end and be sure that you can continue to make those payments,” explained Lavelle.
If you are still financially overwhelmed, Lavelle says to contact Advantage Credit Counseling Service. Their services are free.
“That might be something that would really help them get over the next few months or the next five years of trying to pay back your credit cards,” stated Lavelle.
Website calculators can also help you come up with a credit card repayment plan. For more information to help solve credit card and other debt issues you may have, head over to Bankrate to help guide you through life’s finicail journey.
You can also go to Nerdwallet to help make smart decisions with side-by-side comparisons to find the right credit card for you.