Rising credit card debt in this week’s Consumer Report

Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 6:22 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Credit card debt is on the rise in Florida. Financial planner Alex Astin said there are some reasons why.

“We’ve had an influx of new people, new residents,” Astin said. “Also interest rates are rising, all that existing debt that we owe is building.”

Factors that play into debt are building, too.

“Inflation is one of them, everything is becoming more and more expensive to buy,” Astin said. “A lot of people will refer to a credit card and that is the worst kind of debt you can have.”

If you’ve found yourself in the red, Astin said there are ways to get back in the black.

“First thing you should do is just know what you owe,” Astin said. “Look at the debt that you’re paying, what it’s going towards, what the interest rate is.”

Once you have that number, Astin said to factor it into your budget.

“Make sure your bills come in line with what you make,” Astin said. “As long as that income is higher than those expenses, that’s a good recipe for success.”

Getting out of debt is a huge success, but Astin said staying there is the hard part.

“You want to make sure you continue on the right path because ultimately the long-term goal, and why debt can cause such anxiety, is because you aren’t achieving your long-term saving goals for retirement,” Astin said.

According to WalletHub, the United States racked up $67.1 billion of credit card debt in the second quarter of 2022. Experts say that is an all-time record high for credit card debt added in the second quarter.