Holiday Debt Adds to the Sky-Rocketing Balances of Credit Cards

Published on: 08 Jan, 2018

Retailers have reported strong sales during the holiday season and several customers admit that they have used their credit cards for funding purchases. Now it seems like 2018 might witness credit card mortgage crossing $1 trillion.

According to Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub analyst, it is almost certain that the scary “$1 trillion” mark will be hit this year. And what this says is that the recession has failed to teach a lesson to many American consumers who are going back to living lavishly, and beyond their actual means.

On 30th September 2017, credit card mortgage was recorded at a whopping $808 billion (data released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York). This indicates an increase of $280 billion from the earlier high hit recorded in 2008. Yet American consumers haven’t stopped accumulating debt.

The updated data for the last quarter, ending 31st December 2017, may be released sometime in February.

According to MagnifyMoney’s post-holiday annual survey, those who made holiday purchases using credit cards were charged approximately $1,054, indicating an increase of 5% from the previous year.

Consumers are continuing to spend with credit cards, a financial tool that comes with an interest rate of at least 16%. The Federal Reserve may see a hike of 2 to 3 quarter points in 2018 at a crucial rate affecting consumer debt.

For consumers who have credit score qualifying for a balance-transfer option at zero percent, it might be a good idea to consider it. Gonzalez informs that offers, with up to 21 months at zero interest, are available to only those who have excellent credit.

The deals are usually accompanied by a fee for balance transfer. But the 0% interest rate may last for a couple of months or even years. When the deal ends, the leftover balance starts accumulating interest. This not only helps save interest payment on debt but also helps the consumer pay off the mortgage more quickly since the entire payment goes towards the balance rather than some being utilized for interest.

If a consumer has several credit cards, it might be a good idea to start channeling most of the repayments towards that particular card which offers the highest rate of interest. This basically means that the consumer should pay the least on lower-rate cards.


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Marco Zhou



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