Credit cards and the numerous deals offered on them evoke a lot of attention and interest among users. Credit cards often put purchasing power in the hands of people who are able to pay for things even when they don't have the money at that given point in time.

However, the risk associated with overspending always looms large in view of the ease provided by credit cards to borrow money. A recent survey conducted by U.S. News & World Report has found how high the balances run when it comes to Americans with credit card debt.

Credit card debt owed by Americans reached a staggering $925 billion, as per the Federal Reserve data from 2022's third quarter. The magazine surveyed several people with debts in December 2022 as part of the report, which yielded shocking results.

The results showed more than eight in 10 Americans who owe credit card debt are experiencing a little to a lot of anxiety about it. The survey found at least 15.1% people owed $10,000 or more in debt. Inflation made things worse, and that coupled with insufficient income, led to 51.2% of respondents witnessing an increase in credit card debt last year. In fall 2022, the average credit card user carried a balance of $5,475, a 13% spike from 2021, NPR reported.

It further found that 35.3% of respondents had $1,999 or less in debt, while 20.3% owed anywhere between $2,000 to $3,999. When asked, 23.6% of surveyors cited increased costs of things and not enough money as the reason behind their debt while 20.1% of people said it was due to unexpected expenses. 12.1% of respondents cited medical emergencies as the cause of their debt, while a job loss was the reason for 9.6% people being stuck in a credit card debt trap.

Carrying a credit card balance from month to month stood out as one of the main circumstances why it became hard for people to get out of debt. "Almost half of card holders are carrying debt from month to month," senior industry analyst Ted Rossman of Bankrate said, as per the NPR report. "And that debt is as expensive as ever."

Along with those in the lower income bracket, 37% of people who make $100,000 annually don't pay off their credit card bills in full. This debt is proving to be even more costly.

A survey conducted by Bankrate in December found that more than 4 out of 10 credit card owners didn't know their interest rate. It means they weren't aware when every time the central bank raised rates. It resulted in the cost of carrying a credit card debt spiking up.

"You don't notice it so much on the monthly statement," Rossman added. "Your minimum payment might change by only a few bucks a month. But the problem is, when you drag it out for a decade and a half plus, that's where you really feel it."

Rossman offered a wise suggestion for those carrying debt, and that is, to ignore the credit card rewards. "If you have debt, I would say forget about rewards entirely. Because it doesn't make sense to pay 20% interest to get 1 or 2 or even 5% back or airline miles," Rossman pointed out. "You've got to put that interest rate first and then worry about rewards later on, once you've paid it off."

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