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Credit card debt spreads to nearly half of US adults

A survey shows that 47% of adults are now carrying a credit card balance.

Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is a Texas native who covered video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
Expertise Video Games, Misinformation, Conspiracy Theories, Cryptocurrency, NFTs, Movies, TV, Economy, Stocks
Oscar Gonzalez

Credit card debt continues to grow. 

James Martin/CNET

Credit card debt has increased in the US since March when the coronavirus pandemic led to lockdowns across the country, according to a new survey released Monday by CreditCards.com. This is on top of a 2019 study showing consumer debt was at an all-time high. 

Approximately 120 million US adults, or 47%, had credit card debt as of April, an increase from 43% in March. Those hardest hit were millennials, with 34% saying they were using more credit.  

A majority of the respondents in the survey, 60%, said they will pay back the money by paying more than the minimum monthly payment. Only 7% said they would contact their credit card company and ask for some relief. Banks and financial institutions implemented programs to help those affected financially by the pandemic.

See also: Best cash-back credit cards for 2020

Experian, one of the three main credit reporting agencies, released a consumer debt study in March that found consumer debt in the US reached $14.1 trillion. Mortgages accounted for $9.6 trillion, while credit cards added up to $829 billion.

The pandemic has caused great financial hardship in the US. At least 30 million people have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March. To help those struggling financially, the US Treasury sent out 120 million stimulus checks as part of a $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed in March.

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