Americans Say Credit Card Debt is Their Worst Financial Mistake of the Decade

Americans Say Credit Card Debt is Their Worst Financial Mistake of the Decade

February 13, 2020         Written By John H. Oldshue

When you look back at the last 10 years, what was the biggest financial mistake you made? Perhaps you bought a car that turned out to be a lemon, or paid far too much to rent your dream apartment. According to new research from, 23% of Americans consider racking up too much credit card debt to be their worst financial mistake of the past 10 years.

During the last decade, 85% of respondents said they made some sort of financial mistake. Not saving for retirement was the second most common mistake at 16%, followed by excess spending and paying bills late.

Thankfully, respondents had many financial accomplishments that offset their blunders. Paying off the debt on their credit cards was the biggest accomplishment, representing 15% of responses. Other triumphs included purchasing a car (13%), paying off other debts (11%), getting a raise or a promotion (10%), buying a house (10%), and boosting retirement savings (10%).

Financial optimism varied slightly between generations. Over half (54%) of older Millennials said they were better off at the start of 2020 than they were in 2010. Comparatively, 37% of Baby Boomers said they were better off in 2010. A recent study from Bank of America showed that Millennials significantly increased their savings last year. Among Millennials with savings accounts, 24% already have $100,000 in the bank.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of February 13, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.


About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for
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