American credit card debt surges to nearly $1 trillion

This year Americans could be in for a triple threat. Cost of living increases due to inflation, paychecks not keeping up and interest rates rising on credit card balances. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York's latest quarterly report on household debt and credit shows American credit card balances increased by 61 billion to reach $986 billion. That surpasses the pre pandemic high of 927 billion on average US household with this debt. Those just over $18,000 it's all adding up to be a big squeeze on consumers. According to a nerd wallet survey, people are anxious about finances right now. Nearly seven in ten Americans have financial concerns about the next 12 months. Their biggest worries are having to go further into debt to cover necessities and paying higher interest on that debt. However, if you are loved one or friend is in over your head with credit card debt, there are steps you can take to turn things around.

Nerd wallets credit card expert Sarah Rathner offers some advice. Now, if you have existing credit card debt, obviously your expenses don't stop just because you're making debt payments. You are still paying other bills. You're paying for those day-to-day costs. This might be a good time though to just stop adding on to the credit card debt so you have your credit card open while you make debt payments, but maybe switch to cash or your debit card.

For those everyday purchases, so you're still meeting your obligations, but you're just not adding to the debt pile. Sarah says this is the time to find ways to lower your interest rate. Whether it be a balance transfer credit card with a 0% interest rate promotion that's available for a year or longer, or personal loan that carries a lower interest rate than your credit cards, you may be paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars just in interest payments alone.

Think about all the other ways you could put that money to better use. That's your business brief. For 9 news, I'm Ryan. Fraser..

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