The fact that delinquent credit card debt is on the rise in America should not be a big surprise to anyone, but seeing that the numbers are up in the trillions has the type of impact that will make you stop in your tracks.
With delinquent credit card debt floating right around all-time highs, Americans are starting to ask themselves exactly what they are doing wrong that these numbers keep rising.
Let’s take a closer look at eight of the most common answers to those questions.
Overspending on Nonessentials
One of the most common reasons that people fall behind on their credit card debts is that they just can’t stop themselves from buying things that they don’t really need and certainly can’t afford.
Whether we are talking about a late night shopping spree at your favorite online retailer or cramming a few too many things into your cart at the grocery store, overspending can get out of control in the blink of an eye.
Increased Fixed Debt
American consumers are also finding that increased levels of fixed debts are hampering their ability to keep up with credit card payments.
Between student loans, mortgages, and vehicle loans, the average American is carrying more debt than ever today, and that is before we even consider their credit card debt.
Easier Access to Credit Cards
In addition to overspending and increased amounts of fixed debt, the fact that it has never been easier to get a new credit card is also adding to the problem. Making it easy to take on more debt allows consumers to dig their holes even deeper rather than forcing them to get their spending under control.
Higher Prices for Consumer Goods
We should also make a point to account for the fact that consumer goods simply cost more than they used to. Because of that, we are spending more money than ever on things like clothes, groceries, and decorations for our homes. And paying for those things with credit cards allows us to quickly build up balances that we will struggle to pay off.
While prices of consumer goods have been on the rise, wages have not increased at the same rates in many parts of the country.
Because of that, consumers are finding that it is harder than ever to keep their spending in line with their earnings, which is a path that leads to delinquent credit card debt.
Higher Interest Rates
Since many Americans fail to pay off their full credit card balances each month, many are forced to pay incredibly high-interest rates that seem to be constantly on the rise.
In many cases, the interest charges can be more than the minimum payments, which creates a cycle that drives the consumer deeper and deeper into the hole each month.
While things like overspending can be fixed with a little bit of discipline, unexpected emergencies can arise out of nowhere to completely ruin even the best financial planners. In many cases, consumers point to these issues as the reasons they fall behind on their credit card payments and fall into delinquent status.
Forgot to Pay the Bill
There are a lot of reasons that any of these issues can create a delinquent credit card situation for American consumers, but the most common reasons cited is that consumers simply forget to pay their credit card bills on time.
And when you factor in the late fees and interest charges that come with those late payments, this can actually be the biggest problem of all, despite the fact that it is the easiest to avoid.
No matter what the reason for falling behind on credit card debt, there is no debating that Americans are doing so at an alarming rate. In order to make sure that you don’t fall victim to this national epidemic, be cautious to avoid each of these reasons to the best of your ability.