Are Consumers too Comfortable with Credit Card Debt?


The Federal Reserve recently reported that consumer borrowing in the United States rose less than expected in June. Loans for cars and college tuition bills increased by $16.5 billion while the component containing credit card spending decreased by $2.7 billion. Despite the decline in revolving credit, many Americans are still failing to use credit cards in a responsible manner.

A new online poll from the National Foundation for Credit Counseling finds that nearly one in five Americans see nothing wrong with carrying credit card debt over from month to month. When asked to describe their attitude toward debt, 18 percent of those surveyed said carrying a balance over to the next month is a responsible way to manage his or her finances. Sixty-one percent believe paying off the debt each month is the best strategy, while 21 percent say they do not use credit cards.

“This data suggests that not only are many Americans using credit cards to fund a lifestyle their income can’t support, but they are comfortable doing so,” Gail Cunningham, a spokesperson for the NFCC, said in a press release.