Rockford's Independent Newspaper

Illinoisans have the fifth-highest credit card debt in the nation

By Jim Moran

CHICAGO – Illinois residents have some of the highest credit card debt in the nation.

Personal finance website WalletHub released its lasted report on household credit card debt in America. In the second quarter of this year, the nation added a total $35.6 billion in new consumer credit card debt. That’s is the largest amount of credit card debt added during the second quarter of a year, putting the total outstanding credit card debt in America at its second-highest point ever.

Illinois ranked fifth in the nation for the total debt added during the second quarter. WalletHub looked at the total amount added to credit card debt. It did not consider the ratio of credit card debt to income.

The total credit card debt last quarter in Illinois was around $42 billion. That was an increase of $1.5 billion over the previous quarter.

“The average household in Illinois has just over $9,000 in credit card debt, which is an increase of around $300 per household,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said 2019 has been a record year for debt.

“We began the year, as a country, with over a trillion dollars in credit card debt,” she said. “This had not happened ever before 2018.”

When it comes to consumer spending, Gonzalez said people using their credit cards on almost anything.

“It used to be maybe only for luxuries, like travel,” she said.

Travel now accounts for about 30 percent of credit card spending. Credit card spending on necessities is becoming more common.

“There is no real difference now between what people are putting on their credit cards versus what they’re spending money they have,” Gonzalez said.

WalletHub’s credit card debt studies are based on consumer finance data from TransUnion and the Federal Reserve. WalletHub has been tracking credit card debt levels since 2010.

A Chicago area radio news veteran, Jim Moran covers statewide issues for The Center Square. Previously, he has worked as a news reporter/anchor and traffic reporter for numerous radio stations across Illinois and the St. Louis metro area.

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