Personal Finance


Of the 27 percent of survey respondents who said they’d use the free money to pay down debt, about half said it would go toward credit cards. In second place was student loan debt at 12.5 percent.

As it stands, overall household debt was more than $13 trillion at the end of 2017, according to the Federal Reserve. That includes $8.8 trillion in mortgages, $1.4 trillion in student loans, $1.2 trillion in car loans and more than $1 trillion in credit card debt.

The average American has a credit card balance of $6,375, up about 3 percent from a year ago, according to a recent annual study from Experian.

At the same time, that debt is becoming more expensive. The interest that consumers pay on credit card balances has been ticking upward for more than two years as the Federal Reserve has nudged up a key rate that affects consumer debt.

The Fed’s last increase of 0.25 percent, made in March, marked the sixth quarter-point rate hike since December 2015. At least two more rate increases are expected this year.



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