Question of the Day (Updated): What percent of Americans who have credit card debt won't be able to pay it off within a year?

Sep 08, 2020
Question of the Day, Credit Cards

Answer: 70%


  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?

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

Behind the Numbers (CNBC):

“It’s a big issue,” Ted Rossman, credit industry expert for, tells CNBC Make It. Especially now: The average credit card APR sits at a record-high 17.65 percent, so the interest accrued on monthly balances can quickly add up.

“This is why every extra dollar should go toward your credit card debt,” Rossman says. Think of it like an investment with a guaranteed average return of over 17 percent. For many people, that return may be over 20 percent, since that’s what they’re paying in interest, Rossman says.


This NGPF activity FINE PRINT: Credit Card Statement, gives students a first hand look at the details of paying off credit card debt each month.


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About the Author

Mason Butts

After graduating from UCLA with a Master's in Education, Mason spent 5 years as a science educator in a South Los Angeles public high school. He is committed to supporting the holistic growth of all students and empowering them to live a life of relational, academic, and financial success. Now settled in the Bay Area, Mason enjoys facilitating professional developments and partnering with educators as they prepare students for a bright financial future. When Mason is not building curriculum or planning a training, he can be found cycling, trying new foods, and exploring the outdoors.