Economic Confidence Leads to More Debt

Adults are diving deeper and deeper into the red. Consumer credit card balances rose 13 percent in November to a new all-time high of $1.0227 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve's most recent data.

The average household has a credit card balance of $15,654.

Americans are increasingly confident in the economy and are willing to borrow more to fund their consumption. Surveys show that consumer confidence reached a 17-year high in November, though it declined a bit last month.

But some analysts, like Kevin Myeroff of NCA Financial Planners in Cleveland worry that consumers are over-extending themselves. With the Federal Reserve likely to raise interest rates further next year, that will likely raise the cost of credit card debt.

So what is the best way to get out of debt?  Myeroff says...

1. Multiple streams of revenue

2. Do not accept credit card debt as being OK

3. Put a “get out of debt plan” in writing

4. Get help if needed and “attack” this issue

Americans racked up more than $1,000 of debt over the winter season, estimates one post-holiday spending survey.

About half of those surveyed are actively taking steps to eat healthier in the New Year. Somewhat fewer have committed to financial goals, with 44 percent planning to spend less or save more, and 38 percent committed to paying down debt in 2018.

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