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Credit Card Debt Problem Continues To Grow In America

debtCredit card debt has long been a problem for many Americans, and it seems that problem isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Bankrate.com recently completed a survey that found that roughly half of all Americans are able to pay off their credit card debt with the cash they have available. Just 51 percent of those surveyed claimed that they could afford to clear themselves of all of their current credit card debt, which represents the lowest percentage in almost three years. Almost 30 percent reported having less emergency savings on hand than credit card debt and 17 percent reported having no credit card debt or emergency savings.

Compounding the matter is that the rate of personal savings in the United States is continuing to drop – and at an ever-increasing rate. Lack of pay raises and cost-of-living increases, extensive and long-term unemployment, and high household expenses make it difficult for many Americans to establish any semblance of a solid personal economic foundation or to maintain one that they have already established. Consumer spending is on the rise at the same time that the overall rate of personal savings keeps falling. During the month of November 2013 alone, the personal savings rate fell to 4.2 percent, which is barely above the 2007 low of slightly less than 3 percent. The worst part about it may be that holiday spending in 2013 was as high as it has ever been.

As a result, consumer spending was up 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Revolving credit experienced its fastest year-on-year expansion in more than a half decade which indicates to many experts that consumers were borrowing more than spending available cash reserves in order to finance their holiday expenses.

To read more from CBSNews.com, click here.

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