The 1950s brought the advent of credit cards to the United States, making the method of “buy now, pay later,” easier and much more common. Nowadays, the average American has two or more credit cards in their name.
Using credit cards might be convenient and common, but many people still report that they worry about the risk of credit card debt.
Report: Credit card debt and fear of debt increasing
According to CNBC, one in three Americans worries that they will max out their credit card when they make a purchase of $100 or more. This seems to be a valid concern, since:
- The article reports that out of a survey of more than 700 people, 37% said they already maxed out a credit card;
- The total credit card debt in the United States currently adds up to more than $1 trillion. That is the highest it has been in the last decade; and
- The average credit card interest rate is the highest it has been in years, with most cards carrying an interest rate of more than 17%.
At the end of 2019, more than half of American credit cardholders had credit card debt. The experience with credit card debt, as well as the statistics listed above play a role in the fear individuals have of maxing out their credit card.
Maxing out a credit card once might not have significant consequences, but when it becomes a regular habit, individuals might face significant risks.
What are the dangers of credit card debt?
Many people know the risks of carrying credit card debt. They might start to get notices in the mail or calls from their credit card company looking to collect the debt. And they know how the interest rate can significantly increase the amount they owe with each passing month.
However, individuals might not know that credit card debt can commonly lead to other risks, such as:
- More spending, which can lead individuals to accrue more debt;
- Considerable emotional stress, anxiety, depression and other serious health problems; and
- Debt on their credit report, which can prevent them from buying a home, for example.
These small plastic cards can create big issues for individuals and their families in New Mexico. However, if credit card debt becomes unmanageable, individuals do not have to face these risks alone. Filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy can help individuals find the debt relief they need by discharging their debts, as well as preparing them for the future with credit counseling services.
Worrying about credit card bills might be common, but individuals should not have to fear debt when using their credit cards.