Question of the Day (Updated): What percentage of adults have carried credit card debt in the past year?

Oct 12, 2020
Question of the Day, Credit Cards

Answer: 52% of families held credit card debt in 2019

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


From the Federal Reserve Board:

"In people’s financial lives, credit cards can serve different functions at different times. For people who pay their balances off each month, credit cards are mainly a form of payment convenience and can be thought of more or less the same as using cash. For those who carry a balance, however, use of the card represents borrowing and carries a cost in the interest payment and any fees that are incurred."


Questions for students:

  • What does it mean to “carry” credit card debt?

  • Even though high interest rates on credit card debt make carrying a balance expensive, how or why might consumers get into a situation where they cannot pay their credit card bill in full every month?

  • Credit card companies often list a minimum payment due on their monthly statement. Do you think it is a good idea to make only that minimum payment? Why or why not?

  • What are some strategies to help you avoid becoming one of the 52%?


Here is a great video about credit card debt from our Video Library


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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.