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North Dakotans Knock Down Credit Card Debt

A new report shows Americans paid off $35 billion in credit card debt in the first quarter of this year. Credit: Forca.
A new report shows Americans paid off $35 billion in credit card debt in the first quarter of this year. Credit: Forca.
July 20, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. – It's looking to be a better year financially for those in North Dakota and across the country as a recent analysis shows that Americans are making progress in paying down their credit card debt.

According to the study by CardHub – a card comparison website – almost $35 billion in credit card debt was paid off in the first quarter alone.

Still, that's considerably less than the roughly $46 billion in debt that was accrued in the quarter previous, says Jill Gonzalez, a CardHub spokeswoman.

"We're getting farther from the recession,” she states. “A lot of people say we're not all the way out of it yet, but I think consumers are now willing and wanting to spend more. Unfortunately they're still spending money that they don't necessarily have."

The credit card debt for the average household is now about $7,000, according to the report.

To reduce that quickly, Gonzalez recommends paying off cards with the highest interest first, or transferring that debt to cards with lower rates.

Gonzalez says also key is having a budget.

"Making a budget, sticking to it,” she stresses. “That's kind of the age-old advice, but really just spending less than you have to begin with and then the money that you are spending, make sure you're setting it aside to pay off your debt."

In addition to paying off debt, financial advisers recommend building an emergency fund in case of job loss or an unexpected illness.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - ND