Inflation causing credit card debt to soar

Reporter: Claire Galt
Many are resorting to using their credit cards amid rising costs. (CREDIT: WINK News)

People are drowning in credit card debt.

It just soared at its fastest pace in 20 years.

Many are leaning on their credit cards to pay higher prices for just about everything.

While the price of gas is coming down, it still costs more than it did a year ago.

Food prices are also still through the roof.

“You go to the store, and something you used to pay a certain price for that, you know, now you’re paying probably double the price,” said Susan McArthur.

And those higher prices have force too many Americans to use credit cards to pay for food and gas.

“It’s very frustrating,” McArthur said.

FGCU associate professor of economics Victor Claar said the end result is credit card debt is soaring, right along with inflation.

“That credit card should really be used for emergencies only, and not as a way to finance everyday expenses. If you start seeing credit cards as a way to finance everyday debt, eventually that plan is going to backfire,” Claar said.

David and Susan McArthur, of Cape Coral, said they’ve seen interest rates skyrocket, so now they keep their credit cards in their wallets.

“We try not to use them at all. You know, if you don’t have the money, don’t buy it,” Susan McArthur said.

Americans’ credit card debt rose $100 million in the last year.

The total owed is now $890 billion, but there is some good news.

Despite the increase, credit card debt is still below pre-pandemic numbers.

“Lots of people who have either lost their jobs or thought they might lose their jobs, they paid off their credit card bills like crazy,” Claar said.

But now, the credit card companies say, those same people are spending like crazy.

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