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Credit Card Debt Creeps Up in Mid-2017

Credit Card Data, Credit Cards
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credit card debt

Household debt increased slightly in all major categories except for student loan debt during the second quarter of 2017, according to NerdWallet research. Average credit card debt had the most significant change in the quarter that ended June 30, rising more than $400 per household. Average student loan debt decreased by more than $300.

Average balance for households with each type of debt:

Q1 2017 Q2 2017 Change
Credit cards $16,449 $16,883 2.64%
Mortgages $180,281 $182,421 1.19%
Auto loans $29,100 $29,539 1.51%
Student loans $50,942 $50,626 –0.62%
Any type of debt $136,122 $137,063 0.69%

“The rising credit card debt shows how much Americans are increasingly relying on credit cards, sometimes to meet their monthly spending,” says Kimberly Palmer, NerdWallet’s credit card expert. “Creating an emergency fund to serve as a buffer for unexpected costs can help reduce the need to turn to credit card debt, which is usually very expensive and becomes an additional drain on families’ finances. Taking time to make a plan to pay off debt, especially before the end-of-the-year holiday spending begins, can be a smart move that prevents building up even more debt.”

» MORE: Learn about credit cards and debt at NerdWallet’s data hub

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