Consumers to End 2016 With $1 Trillion in Credit Card Debt


(WTNH) — Financial experts say consumers haven’t amassed so much in outstanding balances in years, even after the Great Recession.

Credit card education and comparison website, Card Hub, analyzed the credit card debt for U.S. consumers throughout the first quarter of 2016. The data suggests consumers are going back to pre-Recession bad habits.

Americans repaid $26.8 billion dollars in credit card debt during the first three months of the year, and it’s about 25% below the average after the Recession. Experts argue that this is the smallest amount paid back since 2008. Further still, that payment only covers about 38% of the $71 billion dollars added to accounts during 2015. It’s expected that consumers will end 2016 with $1 trillion dollars in credit card debt.

Experts warn that without careful money management, something may give between the near-historic lows of charge-off rates and spending habits. In fact, this pattern in the first quarter of 2016 is very similar to the first quarter of 2007. Card Hub analysts compared how much consumers repaid, how high the previous quarter’s tab was, and the charge-off rate during both quarters.

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