Lugging Credit Card Debt Into 2024? Now’s the Time to Make a Plan.

As 2024 dawns, Americans’ credit card debt and late payments are rising, and card interest rates remain high, but many people lack a plan to pay down their debt. If your balances are ballooning, a New Year’s resolution to tackle them would be timely.

After clearing the $1 trillion mark last spring, credit card debt has continued to mount, rising 4.7 percent in the third quarter to $1.08 trillion, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York reported.

Card debt fell during the pandemic period of 2020-21 but rose as Americans turned to credit to cover expenses amid rising prices. Card debt is growing even as inflation cools and the job market remains resilient.

Delinquencies are also on the rise. Two percent of card users went from being current on payments in the second quarter of 2023 to being 30 or more days late in the third quarter, up from 1.7 percent in the first half of the year. Borrowers who also had car loans and student loans, in particular, were more likely to fall behind on their credit card payments, Fed researchers reported.

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