Credit card debt stands at $1 trillion, expert weighs in

May 16, 2023, 7:30 PM

consume plastic...

A collection of credit cards are displayed in this illustrated photo on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. The nation's credit card debt has reached $1 trillion. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Credit card debt in the United States now stands at $1 trillion, according to CNBC.

It’s a topic that Dave Noriega and Debbie Dujanovic discussed Wednesday on Dave & Dujanovic. An obvious question to the problem is, how do we stop spending?

“One with 12 zeros, that’s what a trillion dollars of credit card debt looks like,” Noriega said. “We love debt. (And) we don’t just love credit card debt. We love that as well, but we love it the least with all the other debts that we love in our life.”

Deseret Mutual Benefit Administrators Certified Financial Planner Shane Stewart joined the program to talk about the situation.

Tricks to stop the credit card debt

Dujanovic opens the discussion by asking, “What are the mental tricks that we can use on a daily basis to stop allowing ourselves and giving ourselves permission to put our purchases on a credit card?”

“There are two issues,” Stewart said. “One would be a behavior issue and the other would be a mentality issue.”

With behavior issue, Stewart says, an individual must know if they can afford the purchase when they pull the credit card out. 

With mentality, Stewart says, don’t assume you can pay it off.

“What if you a lose a job?” he asked. “What if things change in the economy? There are a lot of issues that should be going through your mind.”

Noriega asked, “I can see how you can scale back easily going out to a restaurant on a Thursday night. …I can’t change the price of eggs. I can’t change the price of milk. So, what do I do?”

“We’ve had the economy so good for so long that we’ve been accustomed to eating out on Thursday and probably Friday and probably Saturday,” Stewart said. “And things are becoming more expensive. It’s the perfect storm to get us in trouble.”

Knowledge and communication

Dujanovic asked, “Is it possible that people keep spending can’t get a handle on their credit card debt because they don’t actually know how much debt they have overall? And if they’re married, they haven’t bothered to compare notes with their spouse.”

“Absolutely,” Stewart said. “The lack of communication actually is the biggest problem we see with debt and with spending. If you don’t know how much you’re spending, if you don’t have a good grasp of how much is going out the door for certain categories, and especially if you don’t know how much debt you actually have, it’ll just be a never-ending cycle.”

Listen to the entire segment here.


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Credit card debt stands at $1 trillion, expert weighs in