One Financial Resolution Americans Aren't Prioritizing But Should

Fewer of us consider it important to pay off high-interest credit card debt, according to a new survey.
Few consider it important to pay off high-interest credit card debt.

Lose weight, get in shape, save money—these are among the top resolutions Americans make when setting personal goals for the new year. Yet a new survey indicates that while personal finance goals are important, there was a 12% drop in the number of people who prioritize paying off credit card debt as a resolution.

In the survey of 2,100 Americans, Debt.com found that 58% of respondents made paying off credit card debt a resolution, down from 70% in 2018.

Given that 31% of those polled also mentioned that “running up my credit card balances or maxing them out” was their biggest financial regret from 2018, it’s worth noting that Americans’ concerns about credit card debt are well-founded.

In ValuePenguin’s analysis, over 41% of all American households are saddled with credit card debt, with the average debt standing at $5,700. And according to Experian, most of us own 2.5 credit cards and carry an average credit card balance of $4,293, making it all the more important to pay off your monthly balance because credit cards are associated with some of the highest interest rates and fees.

If you’re among those carrying a monthly credit card balance and getting hit twice—with late fees and high interest rates—there are several options available for credit card debt relief:

  • Balance transfer: If you have excellent credit and qualify for a low- or 0% interest rate offer, transferring your balances onto one card buys you time to pay down the principal without worrying about the interest.
  • Snowball and avalanche payment methods: Consider one of two popular debt repayment methods to see which one is right for you.
  • Credit counseling: Finally, if you’re in over your head in credit card debt or any debt, you can seek professional guidance from a certified credit counselor.

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