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

Sep 13, 2021
Question of the Day, Credit Cards

Answer: 50% of families held credit card debt in 2020


  • 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 50%?

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:

"People use credit cards in different ways. Some use credit cards as a convenient, if not necessary, way to pay expenses, paying off their balances in full each month and avoiding any interest costs. Others carry a balance and thus use credit cards as a source of credit to defer out-of-pocket expenses.

 Overall, in the past 12 months, many people have reduced their credit card debt. Thirty-four percent of credit card borrowers with outstanding debt had less debt in 2020 than one year earlier, compared with 26 percent who had more debt. This pattern is notably different from the results in previous years, where the share of credit card borrowers having more and less debt respectively were about even."



Here is a great video about credit card debt from our Video Library: Credit Card Debt Explained | KQED News


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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.