America is racking up credit card debt. This is the reason

(KTLA) – Rising interest rates coupled with crippling inflation have sent more Americans into debt using credit cards to pay for everyday needs.

Credit card debt in the US has surged over the past year as more Americans borrow money to keep spending. And with interest rates set to rise again, it could be even harder to get rid of that crushing debt.

Swiping plastic has become more enticing than ever as high inflation digs deep into the pockets of Americans.

Many people have to use credit to pay for everyday necessities like groceries and gas – necessities that are rising in price faster than average incomes.

Budget also becomes critical when we buy what we need, not what we want.

According to LendingTree, an online loan marketplace, the average consumer has more than $6,500 in credit card debt.

Matt Schulz, LendingTree’s chief credit analyst, says it’s not the worst it’s ever been, but it’s on its way there. He said the current situation is leading to a disturbing trend.

“The average rate on new credit card offers today is a little over 21%, it’s as high as it’s ever been and the unfortunate thing is that it’s only going to keep getting higher,” said Schults.

Record high inflation has about two-thirds of consumers cutting back on discretionary spending. That hurt electronics and clothing retailers.

Growing debt can soon affect many credit scores, cutting into what can qualify for a car or home. This comes as house prices begin to fall, but mortgage rates rise, with a fixed rate of 30 years, now above 6%.

Cody Rice-Velasquez is a normal consumer who has recently cleared credit card debt.

“I don’t want to go back into that hole because we’re paying about a thousand dollars a month in interest,” Rice Velasquez said.

So as more Americans swipe that card, what’s the best way to break the cycle of debt? Experts say it’s important to have an emergency fund.

“Have a little extra savings so you don’t have to pull out the credit card if you have a flat tire or you need to take the dog to the vet,” Schultz says.

If you carry multiple credit cards, it’s very important to monitor your balance and make payments as soon as possible.

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