The recent economic crisis has hit the country hard. People have lost their jobs and homes, stocks and real estate values have fallen. Reports also suggest that credit card debts are sky high, with the average American owing about $9,000 on his/her credit card, which is a really scary number. Are Americans really that neck-deep in credit card debt? Or is the situation being blown way out of proportion?
Actual figures indicate that a large chunk of the American population does not even own a credit card and an even bigger section has paid off existing debts in full and is completely debt-free. So why is this high figure quoted so often?
What we need to realize is that averages are extremely deceptive. If you have a group of ten numbers, the average is not necessarily a representation of that group. Even one very small or very large number can affect the average and skew it badly. The same is true in case of credit card debt.
The truth is that only a very small percentage of Americans are under a huge debt, and they are inflating the debt figure for the rest. Most studies only look to create a sensation, and do not give you an actual representation of the debt situation. The American consumers are pretty much like consumers in any other country.
We do tend to spend a little bit more than others, but the situation is not nearly as bad as is often reported. The myth that most American consumers are heavily in debt is misleading and portrays the country in a bad light.
Does this mean that American consumers are not in debt? Well, some are and the $9,000 statistic simply serves to mislead this section of consumers into believing that they are not alone.
Do not be fooled by these numbers and think that it is alright to be under a huge credit card debt. You should realize that it is not okay to continue in debt, and that you should make efforts to pay back all the money you owe to the creditors as soon as possible. Try to minimize using the credit card and pay with cash whenever possible. Remember that credit cards charge a very high interest rate, and the longer you delay the payments, the worse your debt situation will become.