$1 Trillion Owed By Year’s End After Record Q2 for Credit Card Debt via WalletHub

With the global economy in flux and debate raging over the timing of Federal Reserve rate hikes, data that speak to the financial health of the average American household can be quite telling. Credit card debt statistics, in particular, reflect consumer sentiment and can foretell overleveraging bubbles that may trigger constriction across lending markets.

The fact that U.S. consumers racked up a record-setting $34.4 billion in credit card debt during the second quarter of 2016 therefore represents serious cause for concern. Not only was this the largest second-quarter debt build-up since at least 1986, when quarterly statistics first were logged, but it also comes on the heels of two equally foreboding financial feats, appearing to solidify a very ominous trend. Last year, we added the most credit card debt to our tab ($71 billion) since 2007. And last quarter marked the smallest Q1 pay-down ($27.5 billion) since 2008.

As a result, it is not a question of whether consumers are weakening financially, but rather how long this trend toward pre-recession habits will last and just how bad it will get. Unfortunately, the forecast for at least the rest of the year does not appear bright. WalletHub projects that we’ll end 2016 with a net increase of roughly $80 billion in credit card debt, which would bring outstanding balances above the $1 trillion mark for the first time and push the average amount owed by indebted households to a perilous $8,500.

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We accumulated $34.4 billion in credit card debt during Q2 2016 – most since at least 1986 and 79.60% above the post-Great Recession average. credit-card-debt3

WalletHub projects that total outstanding credit card balances will surpass the $1 trillion mark for the first time ever by the end of 2016. credit-card-debt2

 

We accumulated $34.4 billion in credit card debt during Q2 2016 – most since at least 1986 and 79.60% above the post-Great Recession average.

In Q2 2016 alone, we’ve racked up nearly half (48%) of the total debt accumulated in 2015 and almost matched 2012’s $36 billion increase.

Q2 2016 shares important similarities with Q2 2007, which was six months prior to the start of the Great Recession.

More via Wallethub

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