Americans are drowning in credit card debt thanks to inflation and soaring interest rates
Credit card debt skyrocketed during the last three months of 2022, as Americans shopped their way through the holidays and potentially into financial trouble.
Americans’ collective credit card balances totaled $986 billion at the end of last year, up $61 billion from the previous quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s quarterly household debt report. Overall, U.S. household debt—including mortgage, auto, student loan, and credit card debt—grew to $16.90 trillion at the end of 2022.
That $61 billion increase in credit card debt, however, was the largest quarterly jump recorded in the history of the N.Y. Fed’s data, which dates back to 1999. Additionally, the total accumulated credit card debt surpassed the pre-pandemic record of $927 billion.
“Credit card balances grew robustly in the fourth quarter, while mortgage and auto loan balances grew at a more moderate pace, reflecting activity consistent with pre-pandemic levels,” Wilbert van der Klaauw, economic research advisor at the New York Fed, said in a statement.