Total Credit Card Debt in The US Reaches a Stunning $1.13 Trillion

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Total credit card debt in the US reached new records at the end of 2023 as many Americans continue to struggle with a rising cost of living.

Record Total Credit Card Debt In the US

According to the New York Fed, Americans have more credit card debt than ever. As of the end of 2023, total credit card debt in the US was a stunning $1.13 trillion.

If it’s a little hard to visualize $1 trillion, here’s a handy video to help:

Total credit card debt in the US now totals over $1 trillion. This video illustrates what that kind of money looks like.

Folks, that’s a lot of money! With average credit card interest rates hovering around 21%, that means Americans are paying about $20 Billion in credit card interest every month on that $1.13 trillion.

Half of the state governments in America don’t spend $20 billion in a year.

Cost Of Living Squeeze

Because inflation operates relatively slowly, it’s not always obvious how much more we’re paying for the essentials. To put things in proper perspective, check out this Tiktok video that went viral recently:

A grocery cart that cost about $20 in 1990 has more than tripled to about $68 today!

Average wages in America haven’t increased anywhere near that much over the last thirty years. No wonder people are feeling the squeeze!

It’s also no wonder that people are increasingly resorting to credit cards to make ends meet.

Unfortunately, as people accumulate more debt, it will become that much harder to service and pay off – especially in a high rate environment like we’re in today.

How to Eliminate Credit Card Debt

If you’re making just minimum payments on your credit cards, you probably already know that minimum payments get you nowhere. It could take ten or twenty years to pay off your debt.

Here are some ways you can potentially eliminate your credit card debt faster:

  1. Make double or triple payments – Minimum payments cover just the interest and a tiny bit of principal. To make headway on your debt, you need to double or triple up on your payments. If you have multiple credit cards, focus on the cards with the smallest balances first. As you pay off cards, “snowball” the monthly savings into doubling or tripling your payments on the remaining credit card balances.
  2. Debt consolidation personal loan – The interest rates on these types of loans can often be cheaper than credit card interest rates. The rates are typically fixed and a large portion of the payment goes toward the principal. You may want to check into a personal loan to consolidate your debt into one monthly payment so you can pay off your debt faster.
  3. Debt consolidation HELOC – A home equity line of credit, or HELOC, can be a good way to consolidate debt into a lower monthly payment. Having said that, keep in mind that HELOCs usually come with interest-only payments. You’ll need to make extra payments to actually pay the balance down. HELOC rates are usually much lower than credit card interest rates, which makes it easier to pay off your debt faster.
  4. Home equity agreement (HEA) – A home equity agreement is a great way to tap into home equity without a monthly payment or interest charges, even if your credit is less than perfect. You can find more information about the home equity agreement here.
  5. Debt settlement – If you have a lot of debt and are struggling to pay it off, you may want to consider debt settlement. Debt settlement companies negotiate your balances down so you can get out of debt faster. Keep in mind that these types of programs will wreck your credit for a few years, so do this only if you are genuinely struggling to pay off your debt. You may also need to pay income taxes on the forgiven debt.
  6. Bankruptcy – This is a viable option, but it should only be used as a last resort. Bankruptcy can eliminate your debt relatively quickly, but it’s a difficult process and will damage your credit for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest credit card debt ever recorded?

As of the start of 2024, the highest ever total credit card debt in the US is $1.13 trillion, which was reached at the end of 2023.

What is the current 2023 US credit card debt?

At the end of 2023, the total credit card debt in the US was a record $1.13 trillion.

Mike Roberts
About Mike Roberts

Mike Roberts is the founder of HEAZone.com, a published author, and a highly experienced veteran of the mortgage industry. When he's not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, skiing, camping, traveling, or reading a good book. Roberts is the author of The Reverse Mortgage Revealed: An Industry Insider’s Guide to the Reverse Mortgage, which is available on Amazon.

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