KSL INVESTIGATES

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Utahns better than most Americans at keeping up with credit card debt

Dec 9, 2022, 11:34 PM | Updated: Dec 20, 2022, 12:33 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — As if the higher prices were not bad enough, Americans now are putting more expenses on credit cards to make ends meet. The good news: Utahns are doing a better job than most at avoiding fees and dings.

That $100 tank of gas, that $50 lunch, or that $20 toy for Timmy under the tree will end up, ultimately, costing much more after months of credit card interest being added on. And then add the various fees that often accompany credit card debt – the biggest being late fees.

Then comes the hits your credit score takes if you are late on your payments. Turns out, though, it’s not that big of a problem in the Beehive State compared to most of the country.

Utah was one of the ones that jumped out,” said editor Michael Welker on behalf of Upgraded Points.

Upgraded Points’ team crunched data from the nation’s credit bureaus as well as the Federal Reserve and shared their results with KSL.

Being more than 90 days late paying debt is currently impacting 5.66% of Utahns. Only Wisconsin has a lower delinquency rate. At the other end, Nevada, Florida and Arkansas all have delinquency rates above 10%.

“One thing that we can say that it’s not actually the amount of credit card debt that someone’s holding,” Welker said.

Since Utahns are statistically in the middle of the pack when it comes to the credit card debt that we carry, other economic factors seem to be at play.

“Utah has a higher median income than most states,” Welker said. “The unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the country.”

More money and more jobs means more ability to pay off debt in a timely manner.

As the Fed raises interest rates, the impact goes beyond what you will pay for things like houses and cars. It’ll raise your credit card interest rates, too.

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Gephardt Busts Inflation: Utahns better than most Americans at keeping up with credit card debt