A considerable amount of consumers still carry significant credit card debt, which may make efforts to reduce outstanding balances more difficult, according to a report from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. Currently, Americans carry more than 609 million credit cards, which averages out to more than three per consumer.
Further, credit card debt makes up 98 percent of all credit card debt held nationwide, the report said. Currently, that figure is hovering above more than $800 billion, debt that can carry an average interest rate of 14 percent.
Over the holidays, many consumers said they would lean more heavily on cash and other forms of payment to make their gift purchases, but a significant percentage still took on credit card debt to do so, the report said.
In addition, many industry experts believe that the most significant declines in credit card debt and default have been the result of millions of Americans being forced from the lending system entirely.