WalletHub Study: Credit Card Debt Surpasses $1 Trillion

The study, which includes data from the fourth quarter 2017, shows consumers built up $67.6 billion in credit card debt at the end of the year reaching unsustainable household balances.

3/12/2018 7:20:00 PM


Consumers added $92 billion in new credit card debt in 2017, causing balances to surpass $1 trillion for the first time, according to the latest Credit Card Debt Study: Trends & Insights report from WalletHub.

Consumers added $67.6 billion in credit card debt in the fourth quarter alone, marking the highest quarterly accumulation in 30 years, according to WalletHub. The fourth-quarter debt is 68 percent above the post-Great Recession average.

“Only four times in the past 30 years have we spent so much in a year. And in each of those prior cases, the charge off rate—currently hovering near historical lows—rose the following year. There wasn’t nearly as much kindling on the fire, either,” WalletHub Senior Research Alina Comoreanu said in a news release.

According to the study, the average credit card debt per household in the fourth quarter was $8,600, a 6 percent increase from $8,131 in the third quarter of 2016. Household balances in the fourth quarter were $138 higher than the level WalletHub idenfities as sustainable.

The study also reports consumers’ performance managing their credit card debt continues to regress on a year-over-year basis for two out of every three quarters.

The complete study with historical data on credit card debt is available on WalletHub’s website.

Related Content from ACA International:

Study: Consumers’ Pre-Recession Spending, Debt Habits Continue

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