Credit card debt has hit an all-time high, according to data from the Federal Reserve. As of December 2018, U.S. credit card debt was estimated at $870 billion, which is the highest it has ever been. Credit card balances were also said to have increased by $26 billion from the prior quarter, which is another notable increase.
It is no secret that credit card usage has gone up in recent years. It is estimated that currently 480 million credit cards are in circulation nationwide. The increase reported as of December 2018 is to be expected to an extent, given the fact that credit card usage does go up during the holidays. However, it is still significant that this marks the first time that credit card balances have reached the levels they were at during the height of the 2008 recession.
When it comes to national consumer debt, credit cards come in fourth, behind mortgages, student loan debt and car loans. However, when compared to these other categories of debt, credit card usage has increased significantly more.
The number of credit card delinquencies has also increased. At the end of 2018, 37 million credit card accounts were more than 90 days delinquent. These numbers are up two million from the end of 2017. It was reported by the Federal Reserve that these 37 million credit card accounts add up to over $68 billion of debt that is more than 90-days past due.
Americans over the age of 60 hold a significant portion of this credit card debt. This group accounts for approximately 30 percent of the total credit card debt reported. It is a problem that is becoming more widespread, especially in the Miami area, as more of these seniors are struggling to keep up with daily expenses while living on a fixed income.
As bankruptcy attorneys, we see credit card debt as one of the most common problems facing those with serious financial challenges. It is not surprising with the high interest rates, unreasonable fees, harassing debt collection calls, penalties and never-ending minimum payments that do not even make a dent in your actual debt. We offer additional tips for eliminating credit card debt on our blog.
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If you have questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.