Recent data collected in the 2011 Credit Card Debt Study from CardHub.com shows that consumers are once again spending more money on their credit cards. In fact, credit card debt levels are at their highest since the recession ended.
During the second quarter of 2011, consumers added approximately $18.4 billion in credit card debt. This number has increased 66 percent from the second quarter of the previous year, and 368 percent since 2009’s second quarter. At this rate, Americans are expected to end 2011 with $54 billion in additional credit card debt.
Credit Card Use Due to Declining Disposable Income
Experts believe this sudden resurgence of credit card use is not because Americans have all suddenly decided to go shopping. Rather, many consumers have been forced to use their credit cards more frequently in the past few months as a means of covering the costs of basic necessities. Stagnant wages and increasing unemployment figures support the notion that many Americans lack disposable income and are therefore forced to use their credit cards as a means of purchasing necessary goods.
However, this surge in credit card spending is expected to lead in renewed credit problems. Already, debt levels have skyrocketed in recent months to the highest levels recorded since the 2008 recession. This will only mean an increase in consumers seeking credit card negotiations as a means of solving their debt issues. Such debt settlement services are an excellent means of avoiding bankruptcy, but should not be pursued if the situation is not dire, approaching the credit card company for help can alert them that the cardholder is a potential risk.