Credit Card Debt Hitting Record Numbers

Strong economy leads to more spending

If you are behind paying off your credit card, you're not alone.  

According to a monthly report from the U.S. Federal Reserve, Americans hold more credit card debt than ever. 

Actually, some of it is a good sign. When people feel good about the economy, they also feel good about pulling out their wallets.

But certified financial planner Mary Beth Storjohann says consumer confidence is not only leading to more people spending but also to more people falling into debt.

"People are paying for dining out, they're paying for vacations, they paying for clothes, they're paying for their kid's extra curricular activities,"  said Storjohann. "A lot of this is going on credit cards and they're building themselves more and more into debt."

And federal numbers show defaults are on the rise again for credit cards and auto loans.  Mary Beth Storjohann with Workable Wealth says that can take a serious toll on borrowers.

"The biggest things that I see with the cycle of debt is that a lot of people never feel financially secure," said Storjohann.

Storjohann says many people are racking up debt on their credit cards trying to get airline miles or money back on their purchases but that can be a big problem for consumers who don't pay off that money.

"The credit card company is banking on the majority of people not paying off their balances in full," said Storjohann.

She told NBC 7, the math does not add up.  It is not a deal if you are getting 50 points but you are paying 500 dollars in interest over an unpaid balance.

Storjohann added to climb out of debt you need to know the balance you owe, the interest rate and the minimum payment.

In general you start by paying off the the card or debt with the highest interest rate.
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