Consumer Debt Remains High
The current statistics surrounding consumer debt suggest Americans are paying down their outstanding balances and focusing on saving money. However, a new analysis shows the debt statistics may have been misrepresented, making it more difficult to know the true amount of debt individuals are carrying.
Although credit card delinquency rates have fallen, lenders continue to write off large amounts of "uncollectible" credit card balances from their books, which is not included in the overall debt statistics.
"Look at the charge-off numbers for the banks and they are almost dollar-for-dollar the decline in consumer debt," Bankrate.com senior financial analyst Greg McBride told MarketWatch. "So you are getting headlines about how much better off consumers are, and how they are paying down their debts, but that's not what's really happening."
However, separate reports reveal Americans are seeking out more debt relief programs to curb their spending, reduce their outstanding bills and establish a budget that will allow them to save more money. More consumers are also turning away from credit cards, opting for debit transactions and cash instead.