U.S. households collectively have more than $1 trillion dollars in credit-card debt…that’s an all-time high.
Last month our nation hit a scary milestone….according to the federal reserve, Americans had $1.021 trillion in outstanding revolving credit debt. That beats the previous record in April 2008, when consumers had a collective $1.02 trillion in that category.
Matt Schulz, a senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com, a credit card website said, “This record should serve as a wake-up call to Americans to focus on their credit card debt. Even if you feel your debt is manageable right now, know that you could be one unexpected emergency away from real trouble.”
Revolving credit had been growing at an annual growth rate of 4.9%. One reason: More consumers are getting access to credit cards backed by major banks and issuers in recent months. More than 171 million consumers had access to those cards in the first quarter of 2017, the highest number that has had access since 2005.
For the first time since the Great Recession, lenders have given more consumers with sub-prime, or below average credit scores, access to credit cards, but they are giving them lower spending limits, according to the credit reporting agency TransUnion.
Compared with 2008, fewer borrowers have housing-related debt and, instead, more have taken on auto and student loans.