Americans have accumulated a record-breaking $1 trillion in credit card debt.
This comes as the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes have caused average interest rates for credit cards to spike to more than 22%. Rates on retail credit cards are even higher, nearing 29% on average.
“Even if you’re working and your wages are up, your rent costs more, your groceries cost more, your gas costs more, everything costs more,” said Tedd Rossman, senior industry analyst at Bankrate.com. “So people don’t feel like they’re getting ahead.”
Despite rising costs and higher borrowing rates, a record number of consumers shopped over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The National Retail Federation found that more than 200 million consumers hit the stores that weekend, a few more million than the 196.7 million shoppers who turned out in 2022.
However, big box retailers like Macy’s and Nordstrom have issued warnings about a slowdown in repayments on their credit cards over the summer, highlighting a potential risk to retail revenue this holiday season. The resilience of the American consumer will continue to be tested by the still-rising costs of groceries, gas and housing. And, not to mention, the return of student debt payments.
Watch the video above to find out more about how Americans’ credit card debt ballooned past the $1 trillion threshold, and whether U.S. consumers can keep spending enough to keep a looming recession at bay.