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Credit cards

Americans are getting deeper into credit card debt.

In a 2016 survey by Experian, a consumer credit reporting company, roughly 40 percent of U.S. respondents reported that they had higher credit card debt than they did in the previous year, 31 percent reported the same amount and 29 percent reported a lower amount.

Roughly 36 percent of respondents cited a lack of cash flow as the primary cause of credit card debt, compared to 27 percent who identified overspending as the primary cause.

The average American household carries $6,184 in credit card debt. However, this figure is somewhat misleading as not every household carries this type of debt. If we exclude households that do not carry credit card debt, and consider only those that do, how much credit card debt does the typical household carry?

A. $7,910

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B. $8,812

C. $16,748

D. $20,382

Answer: C. According to Nerdwallet’s American Household Credit Card Debt Study, the average amount owed on credit cards among households that carry credit card debt was $16,748 last year.

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— Kristin Runge, UW-Extension; kristin.runge@ces.uwex.edu; Twitter @RungeKristin

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