Florida consumers swiped their credit cards more than almost everyone else in the nation over the year’s second quarter. While experts caution that this is not necessarily a sign of incoming disaster, it could spell trouble for some people. Consumers who have considerable amounts of credit card debt may also be struggling to handle finances in other areas of their lives, and the high interest rates associated with credit cards could make things worse.
Credit card balances in Florida shot up 8.95 percent in 2018’s second quarter, the second-fasting growing rate in the nation and higher than the average 6.58 percent. However, since many credit cards offer rewards like travel miles or cash back, some of that balance could be from monthly expenses. Many consumers now choose to pay their regular expenses with their credit card then quickly pay off the balance, thus earning those rewards.
This does not explain all of the increase, though. Many people are simply struggling with money and turning to credit cards to help bridge the gap. This may be especially true for those who are faced with unexpected medical bills or other large bills.
In many ways credit card debt seems like a normal aspect of life. Most people in Florida have some form of it or know someone who is struggling with monthly balances. However, this so-called normal part of life can actually be quite devastating. When ballooning interest rates, unexpected bills and other financial stressors make it impossible to repay debt, bankruptcy can be an effective and smart solution for most people.