This Is the Average Credit Card Debt Total. How Does Yours Compare?

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  • The typical consumer owes $6,320.98 on their credit cards.
  • Because credit cards charge lots of interest, paying that debt off as quickly as possible is key.
  • You could try consolidating your debt via a personal loan or 0% APR credit card, to make paying it off easier.

It might help to know that if you have a bunch of debt, you're not alone.

Maybe you racked up a giant credit card balance after having gone overboard on holiday spending. Or maybe your balance has been slowly but steadily climbing ever since inflation took hold and just about every bill you're responsible for went up in cost.

If you owe a rather large sum on your credit cards, you may find it comforting to learn that you're in good company. A good 42% of U.S. adults say they're carrying credit card debt, according to New York Life’s latest Wealth Watch survey. And the average balance carried by U.S. consumers is $6,320.98.

Still, having credit card debt can wreak havoc on your finances due to the large amounts of interest credit card companies are known to charge. So the sooner you're able to pay off that debt, the better.

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Consolidating your debt could pay off

The higher the interest rate on your credit card debt, the harder it's apt to be to pay it off. So you may want to find a way to consolidate your debt and lower the interest rate on it in the process.

You have a few options to look at in this regard. First, you could apply for a personal loan, which will allow you to borrow money for any purpose, and use the proceeds to pay off your existing balances. You'd then simply pay that personal loan back in installments.

The upside of going this route is that you're likely to snag a lower interest rate on a personal loan compared to what your credit cards are charging you. And also, personal loans offer the benefit of fixed interest rates, which means you don't have to worry about your monthly payments rising over time.

Another debt consolidation option to consider is a balance transfer. Here, you'd simply move your existing credit card balances over to a new card with a lower interest rate attached to it.

Many balance transfer offers even come with a 0% introductory rate for a limited period of time. And getting a reprieve from racking up interest could make your debt much easier to pay off. Plus, this way, you're only making one credit card payment every month -- not several.

Do your best to shake that debt

Not only can credit card debt cost you a lot of money in interest, but too much of it could actually cause damage to your credit score. So whether you decide to consolidate your credit card debt or simply tackle your balances one by one in an order that works for you, do your best to dig out of debt as quickly as you can.

You may need to pick up a side job or cut back on spending in a serious way to chip away at your balances. But doing so could, depending on the sum you owe, save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest. And that's money you'd no doubt rather keep for yourself than hand over to a bunch of credit card companies.

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