Pandemic Has Forced Americans To Pay Off Credit Card Debt – NBC 7 San Diego
Americans add about $ 50 billion in credit card debt each year. 2020 was a very different year as the pandemic forced many people to stay indoors and gave them a chance to assess their spending.
“The pandemic was actually about keeping a lot of people out of debt,” said Jill Gonzalez, analyst at WalletHub. “Because of this, we saw the biggest debt repayment we have seen in 35 years.”
The WalletHub study found that Americans had paid off nearly $ 83 billion in credit card debt. It’s a welcome change of pace for experts worried about the ever-increasing amount of credit card debt. However, San Diego was not at the top of the list of cities that have paid off the most debt.
“San Diego, like most big cities, unfortunately hasn’t done well when it comes to credit card debt,” Gonzalez said.
The study found that the average person in San Diego has over $ 15,000 in credit card debt. In North County, Oceanside ranked even lower. He had the same amount of average debt, but a higher increase during the pandemic. At the same time, Chula Vista ranked among the top 50 best cities for debt repayment.
“A lot of people were able to save and a lot of people were able to pay off their debts,” Gonzalez said. “Unfortunately, we don’t think this will last. I don’t think we’ll see this by the end of 2021.”
The WalletHub survey found that one in ten Americans say they expect to shop once the economy reopens. Gonzalez says it fits perfectly with what they saw during the 2009 recession.
“They paid off their debts in 2009,” Gonzalez said. “[But] sort of right after the great recession and in 2010, basically until 2020, we saw americans grapple with debt more and more. “
Many people interviewed for the WalletHub survey said the pandemic helped them save because they did less shopping and stayed at home. While some people have paid off their credit card debts, others have focused on student loans. Gonzalez says there are some easy ways to keep the moment from last year.
“Look at your smaller balance and put all the extra money you have to pay for that,” Gonzalez said. “So pay the minimum on everything else so that you can at least erase something.”