The average American carries credit card balances that top $6,100, an increase of 15% since 2012, according to a recent study by Experian. What was even more surprising and sobering at the same time was that credit card debt has suprassed $830 billion dollars as of Q2 of 2019. While we preach responsible credit card use, and to pay off your credit card when you receive your statement, these data points reflect many Americans are relying on their plastic to finance a lifestyle they cannot afford.
What cities in America are most strapped with credit card debt? Check out the top five below:
New Caanan, CT (Average Balance $14,362)
Winnetka, IL (Average Balance $14,917)
Palm Beach, FL (Average Balance $14,947)
Pacific Palisades, CA (Average Balance $15,175)
Paradise Valley, AZ (Average Balance $15,221)
No matter where you live, credit card debt can be costly. If you find yourself with over $10,000 in revolving debt, there are two actionable items you can do today to stop the bleeding.
Stop Using The Credit Cards
Sounds simple, right? If you want to get out of debt, you need to stop putting yourself in more debt. That means you may have to cut up the existing cards you have, and in extreme measures, close the cards even before you pay off the balances owed. These measures are not prescribed for the masses, so before you write venom in our comments, please understand that. The reality is if you are carrying credit card debt that exceeds some of the numbers above without a plan to eliminate it for good, you are on a financial slippery slope that can (and likely will) end bad.
In order to avoid the worst case scenario, which could be wrecking your credit and ending up in collections or bankruptcy, you need to identify the root cause of your problem. Someone who ran up credit card debt to pay for medical bills is going to view their debt much differently than someone who can’t turn down the latest sale they receive in their e-mail from their favorite store. Performing a drastic measure such as cutting up credit cards will help eliminate acting on the temptation, but for some, closing the cards will take it a step further to avoid more debt.
Commit To A Plan
We don’t care if you choose the Debt Snowball or the Debt Avalanche, you need to do something. As we approach a new year, you do not want to spend another 12 months making the companies who issued you credit rich, at the expense of your financial future. No one can decide this for you, however if you commit to getting out of debt for good, consider reading our challenge here.