It is difficult to give up an addiction. At least, the American people have proved it once again. According to a recent survey, it has been found that the American citizens have started borrowing on their credit cards heavily. The total consumer credit card debt accrued in the second quarter of the year 2011 is around $18.4 billion, which is indeed an astounding figure.
Credit card debt has increased yet again
If the reports are to be believed, the consumer credit card debt amount has increased yet again. The American citizens have racked up around 18 billion dollars in credit card debt in the second half of 2011. This figure is 66% higher than that of the second half of the previous year. Financial experts are of the opinion that this figure is around 350% more than the second half of the year 2009. They are predicting that the debt amount will increase in the remaining months of this year.
It is very hard to accept the fact that the credit card debt amount has increased to 18 billion dollars in the second quarter alone. A 368% increase in the credit card debt amount from the last to last year's figure can't be easily accepted, especially when the consumer behaved quite responsibly in the first half of 2011.
The credit card debt has actually decreased in the previous quarter just like in 2010. However, an increase in the debt amount has been observed in the in the second quarter of 2010. It seems that a similar trend will also prevail in this year.
Financial experts are busy in analyzing the reasons behind the increase in the credit card debt in this year. The experts believe that the consumers have started using the credit cards as they used to do before recession. The financial experts fear that if the consumers don't control or change their spending habits, then country may face another recession or economic downturn.
Reasons why credit card debt has increased
Some possible reasons behind the rapid rise in the consumer credit card debt amount in the second quarter of 2011 are given below:
- Credit card Act: Consumers have realized that it is quite safe to use credit cards. The Credit Card Act has imposed several restrictions on the credit card companies. For example, the credit card issuers can't increase the interest rate without giving a prior notice to the consumers. Rules like this have given confidence to the consumers and they have started using credit cards just like before.
- Steady income: The income of some of the consumers has not been affected during the economic downturn. These people didn't even face any financial difficulties during the recession period. Now that the economic condition of the country is slightly better, they have started using the credit cards like never before.
- Job opportunities: Statistics reveal that the unemployment rate in the year 2009 was around 10%. The unemployment rate fluctuated between 9.7%-9.8% through out the last year. However, the situation has slightly improved in this year. The unemployment rate has decreased to 9.1% in the month of August 2011.
Young graduates are able to get jobs at the present economic condition. They have become financially confident and are using credit cards without any fear.
Consumers should focus on decreasing their debt burden and not on increasing it. Some of the consumers are acquiring new debt just after becoming debt free through a debt relief program. This is not at all a good sign for the economy of the nation which has just recovered from debt ceiling controversy.
Consumers need to understand the fact that they can't continue to practice the habits, which has lead them to financial troubles in the past. They need to maintain a decent credit score and income to lead a comfortable life without inviting financial problems. A good to strategy will be to make purchases through cash and using the credit cards only for the emergency expenses. Most importantly, the consumers should spend according to their financial means.