Throwback Tuesday QoD: How much will consumers pay in interest to credit card companies in 2019?

Nov 11, 2019
Credit Cards, Question of the Day, Research

Answer: $143 billion

Average credit card debt of $830 billion (Experian study, 2019) multiplied by an average credit card interest rate of 17.27% (


  • Why do you think that so many Americans have credit card debt, meaning they don’t pay the full balance on their credit card statements every month?
  • Does credit card debt carry a high or low interest rate?
  • What ideas do you have on how you can avoid getting into credit card debt where you can't pay your balance off every month?
  • Imagine using your credit card to buy $100 of clothes. If you weren’t able to pay off that purchase for a year and your credit card had a 20% interest rate, how much would you pay in interest alone? [You would also pay late fees if you made no payments.]

Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.

Behind the numbers (Experian):

If you're carrying credit card debt, you've got plenty of company. Americans have $830 billion in credit card debt, according to Experian data from the second quarter (Q2) of 2019. Growth in Q2 credit card debt has risen steadily for eight straight years going back to 2012.


Help your students avoid those high interest loans. Let them play loan shark with our Shady Sam game (in the NGPF Arcade) and they will quickly learn the tricks of the trade. 

Here's the answer to the same question from 2017




About the Author

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.