Even as Americans cut their spending and pay off debts, we still owe staggering amounts of money on our credit cards, according to a report published Monday by Equifax, one of the big three national credit reporting agencies.
Americans have cut their total debt (including car loans, mortgages, credit cards, etc.) by 8.2% since October 2008, when consumer debt reached its peak of $11.5 trillion.
But we still owe $800 billion on our credit cards alone, according to the report. That doesn’t include student loans, mortgages and other debts. The large amount of money owed on credit cards, which often carry the highest interest rates of any consumer debt, makes analysts at Equifax worry that some people may be paying off lower-interest debt like student loans instead of concentrating on reducing the most expensive debt first.
“The good news is we’re seeing Americans paying off their debts and becoming more fiscally fit,” says Dianne Bernez, a spokeswoman for Equifax, said in a press release. “However, the numbers show that while people’s intentions are good, Americans still have a lot of debt to tackle and often don’t know where to start.”
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