Americans have managed to repay a record of approximately $83 billion in credit card debt last 2020. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the figure comes as a surprise as Americans usually averaged about $54.2 billion in credit card debt for the past ten years.
The virus pandemic has reportedly paved the way for more Americans to become thriftier and wiser with their spending habits, leading many individuals in the United States to reduce or address their credit card debt.
Based on the article released by CNBC, the various economic relief measures extended by the United States government to its citizens have helped many Americans stay on top of their personal finances.
Apart from stimulus checks being given to consumers, CNBC reports that unemployment benefits, as well as extension and clearance on student loans, have allowed Americans to pay off their debt in the past year.
Of this number, however, Fox Business states reveal that Oxnard, California heads the debt clearing operation after having paid $65.3 million during the pandemic.
In a statement, WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said that this is only “the second time in the past 35 years we’ve even ended the year owing less credit card debt that we started with.”
Despite such lengths, Fox Business states that the United States still has a ways to go in clearing off roughly $1 trillion of credit card debt, although it acknowledges that the number could never really go back to zero.
Meanwhile, CNBC maintains that this number could still rise in 2021, especially with the economic relief and stimulus bill slated to be extended to American consumers following the vote in the Senate on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.
With the call for boosting the economy stronger than ever, WalletHub projects that consumers may add around $50 billion in credit card debt for this year alone. With this, Gonzalez “hope[s] that consumers will internalize lessons learned during the pandemic and showcase a newfound frugality.”