Americans Cut Credit Card Usage and Debt

Americans Cut Credit Card Usage and Debt

May 13, 2014         Written By Bill Hardekopf

The economic downturn of 2008 sent many Americans running to credit cards to help cover their bills. Now, six years later, credit card use is declining.

According to a Gallup poll conducted in April, the average American only holds 2.6 credit cards now, compared to 2.9 in 2008. Among those that do have credit cards, the average number of cards owned is 3.7, the lowest number Gallup has seen since it began periodically measuring these financial habits in 2001.

The number of people who said they do not own credit cards at all has also declined, from 29% in 2008 to 22% in 2014.

The poll found 33% of credit card holders carry a balance from one month to the next, a record low since 2001.

The average credit card debt for Americans has gone down by $500 since 2008, if you factor in the people with no balance at all. That number sits at $2,426. Only 7% of the Americans surveyed said they currently have more than seven credit cards, down from 9% in 2008 and 11% in 2002.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of May 13, 2014. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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