Question of the Day: What percent of Americans don't pay their credit card bill in full each month?

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Feb 04, 2018
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Credit Cards, Credit Scores, Question of the Day, Research, Current Events

Answer: 43.9%

Questions:

  1. What do you think keeps so many Americans from paying off their credit card bill every month?
  2. Many who don’t pay their credit card bill every month will just pay the minimum (or about 3% of what they owe). Is that a good strategy? Why or why not?
  3. Why is it so important not to carry credit card debt month to month?
  4. What advice would you offer to a friend who’s trying to pay down their credit card bill while still managing their other expenses?

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Behind the Numbers:

The Fed’s most-recent Survey of Consumer Finances, released in October, showed an increase in the number of U.S. households with credit card debt: 43.9% in December 2016 compared with 38.1% in December 2013...The average U.S. household with revolving credit card debt carried a balance of $6,081 as of June 2017. Assuming an interest rate of 14.87% — the current average — that balance would incur $904 in interest per year, according to NerdWallet’s analysis.

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About the Authors

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and serving populations in underprivileged communities. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts, spearheading various outreach projects, or managing contests and flash surveys, you can find her doing some sort of outdoor activity, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.