Mixed Credit Card Debt Stats Show Striking Contrast Between Haves, Have Nots

Feb 11, 2021, 6:17 PM | Updated: 8:52 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As we learn more about how people’s wallets were impacted during the pandemic, we’re seeing a striking juxtaposition between the haves and the have nots. And that contrast has created this dichotomy where both credit card debt is down, and credit card debt is up. How does that happen?

“We found that 51% of people in credit card debt have added to it,” said Ted Rossman, chief industry analyst with Bankrate.com and CreditCards.com about the results of a disappointing 2020 study.

Just weeks earlier, Rossman told the KSL Investigators this:

“We’ve actually seen credit card debt fall 10%.”

How exactly does 51% up and 10% down jive together?

“It’s basically half-and-half people that added to their debt and people who didn’t,” explained Rossman. “But what is very unequal is the total amount of credit card debt has fallen.”

That’s right. As we have been reporting, people who didn’t lose work during the pandemic are generally doing okay, financially. They have even been able to save money thanks to not traveling or going out to eat.

Whereas those who did lose their jobs or saw their hours slashed, have been hit extra hard.

Rossman’s advice to the group struggling:

“Ask for help. Speak up. Ask about (your credit card’s) the hardship program. See if they can rearrange your due date, lower your interest rate…waive some other fees.”

New research also shows that a lot of people who qualified for stimulus money during the first two rounds turned around and spent that money directly on paying down debt.

So, depending on how big or how small the next package is, there could be a major impact on Americans’ debt levels.

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Mixed Credit Card Debt Stats Show Striking Contrast Between Haves, Have Nots