14 million Americans have over $10K in credit card debt, survey says: 3 ways to pay it down quickly

About 14 million Americans are at least $10,000 in credit card debt, according to a new survey. Here’s what you can do to pay yours down.

About 14 million Americans (6%) have more than $10,000 in credit card debt, according to a new survey conducted by financial resource GOBankingRates.

Furthermore, the survey indicated that about 30% of respondents have between $1,001 and $5,000 in debt, and another 15% reported having $5,001 or more in credit card debt. When it comes to paying it off, too, many consumers are looking at long-term plans to do so.

The majority of survey respondents (59%) said they’d be able to pay off all of their credit card debt at some point in the next six months. However, 13% said that could take them up to two years, 8% said it would take five years to do so and 2% believe that they’ll never pay off their debt.

If you’re looking to tackle credit card debt, a credit monitoring service could help by providing alerts on late payments, fraudulent activities, credit score changes and more. Check out some of Credible’s partners here.

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Credit card debt could last for years

Another survey, conducted by Inside 1031 of 1,000 Americans who carried at least one credit card, found that 40% of Americans haven’t been free of credit card debt in the last four years and 15% have had credit card debt since before 2006.

This comes as many Americans are using credit cards to cover essential living expenses, according to the survey. About 61% of Gen Z Americans and 53% of millennials said that they use their credit cards to cover those costs, compared to just 26% of Baby Boomers.

In addition, credit card expert Ted Rossman said in an interview with FOX Business that by the middle of 2022, credit card debt could be at an all-time high, adding that he’s not surprised.

“Really, the only thing that is a bit surprising is how fast this is happening. We’ve seen this movie before with respect to during and shortly after a recession, and credit card debt falls, then it climbs back up and sets new records , he said.

If you’re looking for a way to consolidate credit card debt, consider taking out a personal loan at a lower interest rate. You can use Credible’s personal loan payment calculator to figure out your new monthly payments and potential savings.

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How to pay down debt quickly

Some strategies to become debt-free include paying more than the minimum payment to each card, paying off debt with a higher interest rate first and saving money back to cover unexpected expenses. But, there are several ways consumers can pay their debt down quickly as they tighten their purchases and avoid using credit cards:

Take out a debt consolidation loan

Interest rates for personal loans are near record lows, and typically have significantly lower interest rates than credit cards. By taking out a personal loan to pay down debt, consumers have access to the funds they need and can either reduce their monthly payments or pay more money toward the principal balance owed. Visit Credible to apply for a new personal loan in minutes.

Cut back on monthly expenses

Consumers may want to consider creating a budget to determine where their spending goes, and cutting back on overspending or even monthly subscriptions. They can also lower their monthly payments, like student loans, by refinancing while interest rates are low. This extra money can be applied toward debt payments.

Use a balance transfer credit card

Balance transfer cards typically offer 0% interest rates for a select time period – usually about six to eighteen months – on any new balance that is transferred over. During this time, the debt will not accrue any new interest and users can pay down debt more quickly, since even the minimum monthly payment will all go toward the debt owed instead of interest.

If you want to look at your credit card options – including a balance transfer credit card – visit Credible, where you can compare them side-by-side.

Have a finance-related question, but don’t know who to ask? Email The Credible Money Expert at moneyexpert@credible.com and your question might be answered by Credible in our Money Expert column.

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