Americans average $10,000 dollars in credit card debt: Missouri Senator Josh Hawley calls for cap on interest rates


Important Takeaways:

  • Average American household now has $10,170 credit card debt – here are the states where balances are highest
  • American households now have an average of $10,170 credit card debt, as record numbers say they are worried about being cut off from access to loans.
  • Data from the New York Federal Reserve shows nationwide credit card debt swelled by $43 billion in the second quarter of the year – the second largest increase on record.
  • Meanwhile a separate survey by the Fed revealed 60 percent of respondents found it more difficult to access credit – the highest level since the data series began in June 2013.
  • But some states are faring much worse than others as households in Hawaii have the highest debt currently, according to fresh analysis by WalletHub. Families in the Aloha state have $10,637 in credit card loans on average.
  • It was followed by Alaska, California and New Jersey where average debts were $10,142, $9,796 and $9,468 respectively.
  • By contrast, Wisconsin has the lowest debts of any state, with the average household owing $6,208 on their cards.
  • The interest charged by credit card companies is loosely guided by the Federal Reserve’s benchmark rate which last month soared to a 22-year high.
  • It has fueled calls to curb interest on such loans. Yesterday Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley urged the Government to install an 18 percent cap on credit card rates as he hit out at providers.

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Americans increasing debt hits $1 Trillion

Credit Card Debt

Important Takeaways:

  • Credit card balances jumped in the second quarter and are above $1 trillion for the first time
  • Total credit card indebtedness increased by $45 billion in the April-through-June period, a rise of more than 4% and just above $1 trillion.
  • The Fed’s measure of credit card debt 30 or more days late rose to 7.2% in the second quarter, the highest rate since the first quarter of 2012.
  • “Credit card delinquencies continue an upward trend, a growing sign that consumers are feeling the pinch of high prices and lower savings balances than they had just a few years ago.”

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America’s Debt is rapidly accelerating

US Reserve Stamp

Revelations 13:16-18 “Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Horowitz: Inflation trap: Debt increases over a trillion in five weeks, quickest pace ever
  • It looks like the Biden-McCarthy “Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2023” will rival the Inflation Reduction Act (Green New Deal) in its Orwellian meaning and outcome. Just five weeks after the deal was hatched, the Treasury has issued over $1 trillion in new debt!
  • This is simply astounding. It took from our founding until 1980 to accrue the amount of debt that we have now added in just over five weeks. It is truly hard to overstate the magnitude and impact of this spending. Unlike in recent years, when we were servicing this debt at 1%-2% interest rates, this new debt will be serviced with an over 5% interest rate! Our debt has increased almost 50% in just four years, topping out near $32.5 trillion, but now it will have a compounding effect with higher interest rates to service it. So this notion that inflation will decrease in the long run is absurd. This debt is not just a number on the government balance sheet. It represents why middle-income Americans will not be able to afford the American dream for the foreseeable future. So no, the debt ceiling deal did not “avoid default,” it accelerated it.
  • Personal credit card debt is now approaching $1 trillion, up 15% since pre-COVID and more than triple what it was before the Great Recession in 2008.

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New survey shows 70% of Americans are financially stressed including those making six figures

Revelations 13:16-18 “Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.”

Important Takeaways:

  • Inflation, economic instability and a lack of savings have an increasing number of Americans feeling financially stressed.
  • Some 70% of Americans admit to being stressed about their personal finances these days and a majority — 52% — of U.S. adults said their financial stress has increased since before the Covid-19 pandemic began in March 2020, according to a new CNBC Your Money Financial Confidence Survey conducted in partnership with Momentive.
  • “People are worried that the money they’ve saved won’t last and are worried they’re going to have to lean more on their credit cards and other sources of debt just to get by,” said Bruce McClary, a senior vice president at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.
  • Bank failures weaken confidence
  • About a third of people earning six figures said they are living paycheck to paycheck and more than a quarter said they have no emergency fund.

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Stress of credit card debt as households hit record $16.9 trillion last quarter

Revelations 18:23:’For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • Household debt hit record $16.9 trillion last quarter, as consumers loaded up their credit cards
  • Total US household debt hit a record $16.9 trillion during the fourth quarter, an increase of $394 billion, or 2.4%, from the prior three-month period, according to the Fed’s latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit. While the lion’s share of the debt is attributable to mortgages, the report showed that not only are credit card balances swelling at record levels, delinquencies are on the rise as well.
  • Credit card balances increased nearly 6.6% to $986 billion during the quarter, the highest quarterly growth on record, according to New York Fed data

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US inflation affects 100% of the populous as many Americans deplete their Savings Accounts, rely on Credit Cards to cover increasing cost of living

Revelations 18:23:’For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • The US consumer is starting to freak out
  • The flush savings accounts and cheap credit that helped keep Americans spending at high rates since 2020 are disappearing
  • Retail purchases have fallen in three of the past four months. Spending on services, including rent, haircuts and the bulk of bills, was flat in December, after adjusting for inflation, the worst monthly reading in nearly a year.
  • Sales of existing homes in the U.S. fell last year to their lowest level since 2014 as mortgage rates rose. The auto industry posted its worst sales year in more than a decade.
  • One factor making forecasting more difficult: While unemployment is trending at a half-century low, big companies including Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Microsoft Corp. have begun to cut jobs.
  • Also weighing on many consumers: The rapid increase in rates in the past year, tied to Fed tightening, has pushed the cost of all types of debt higher.
  • Mortgage rates reached a 20-year high last fall. Some 57% of consumers were concerned about making housing payments in the fourth quarter
  • Additionally, tens of millions of Americans are set to start or resume making payments on student loans later this year, after the Supreme Court rules on President Biden’s student-debt cancellation plan. Payments have been frozen since March 2020, and are scheduled to begin again 60 days after litigation is resolved or the program is implemented.
  • Many taxpayers will get smaller refunds when they file their returns in the coming months because Congress didn’t extend the breaks put in place at the height of the pandemic.
  • S. factories, shippers and importers are pulling back, a sign they anticipate less demand from Americans in the months ahead.
  • Inbound volumes at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California were down 20.1% in December from a year earlier, and have been behind 2019 levels since August.

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US Milestone of Debt hits $31.4 Trillion. Treasury Secretary asks to raise or suspend the cap

Department of Treasury

Revelations 18:23:’For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • America Hit Its Debt Limit, Raising Economic Fears
  • In a letter to Congress, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen said the government would begin using what’s known as “extraordinary measures” to prevent the nation from breaching its statutory debt limit and asked lawmakers to raise or suspend the cap so that the government can continue meeting its financial obligations.
  • The milestone of hitting the country’s $31.4 trillion debt cap is the product of decades of tax cuts and increased government spending by both Republicans and Democrats. But at a moment of heightened partisanship and divided government, it is also a warning of the entrenched partisan battles that are set to dominate Washington in the months to come, and that could end in economic shock.

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As Inflation looms Americans fall deeper in debt

Revelations 18:23 ‘For the merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.’

Important Takeaways:

  • Nearly half of all Americans are falling deeper in debt as inflation continues to boost costs
  • With inflation hitting a 40-year high in June, Americans are struggling to keep up with rising prices and putting less money aside for emergencies or long-term financial goals, several studies show.
  • Americans’ overall satisfaction with their financial condition now stands at a 12-month low, and 43% of consumers expect to add to their debt in the second half of the year.
  • 23% have no Emergency savings at all
  • 28% say they have some savings but not enough for 3 months

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Flooding woes add to trade war stress in ‘Trump country’ farm belt

A farm which was damaged by heavy flooding is pictured outside Winslow, Nebraska, U.S., March 20, 2019. Picture taken on March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Humeyra Pamuk

By Humeyra Pamuk and P.J. Huffstutter

COLUMBUS, Neb./CHICAGO (Reuters) – Nebraska grain farmer Ryan Ueberrhein was barely breaking even after the U.S.-China trade war pushed prices for his soybean crop to a decade low. Then the nearby Elkhorn River burst its banks as flooding swept across the U.S. farm belt.

Uberrhein’s farm was left covered in debris after the roiling water receded. He has mounting debts. And he is worried that President Donald Trump may not be able to strike a trade deal with China that would end tariffs on U.S. soybean exports – and allow him to sell whatever grain is left intact at a better price.

Frustration is building across farm country at what feels like a never-ending season of bad news.

The trade war “keeps damaging us,” said Ueberrhein, 34, of Valley, Nebraska, who voted for Trump. “What the president is doing, we stand by him, but … we can’t keep getting hit just because a deal can’t be made quickly.”

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are set to arrive in China this week for another round of trade talks with their Chinese counterparts. The two sides have yet to agree on many core issues.

Farmers who spoke to Reuters remained supportive of Trump.

Soybean exports to China hit a four-year low in February because of the trade war. China is the biggest buyer of U.S. soybeans, which are the largest single U.S. agricultural export. A near halt in exports has hit a rural economy already struggling after years of oversupply cut farm incomes by 50 percent in the past five years.

Debt in the agrarian economy has hit levels last seen during the U.S. farm collapse of the 1980s. (Graphic:

The Nebraska Rural Response Hotline, which provides support to farmers and ranchers, has received a record number of calls about financial distress, said John Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union. Calls about suicide and depression were up, too, he said.

The latest piece of bad news came on March 11, when the Trump administration released its 2020 budget and proposed a 15 percent cut for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, calling its subsidies to farmers “overly generous.”

It did not matter to farmers, who helped vote Trump into office, that the budget will not pass muster with Democrats who control the House of Representatives, Hansen said. Some farmers took the proposed cut to subsidies for crop insurance as an insult.

“How many times do you have to kick us when we’re down?” he said.

That insurance is crucial to Richard Oswald, who farms near Phelps City, Missouri. The flood has already swallowed his childhood home, many of his fields and more than 20,000 bushels of corn. His four grain bins have burst after water-logged corn expanded and split open.

“If our government and leaders can’t step up and start to lead, we’re done for,” he said.

For years, Oswald paid extra for flood insurance. He hoped that government talk of investing in improving U.S. infrastructure would come through – and bolster the levees and dams throughout the Midwest.

But this year, as the trade war dragged on, he dropped the policy to reduce expenses. So he will get no insurance money for the lost corn, Oswald said.

A few days ago, one of his lenders called. Oswald didn’t have to pay the loan right away, the lender said, but he would have to repay it sooner or later.

“Help needs to come from Congress, but Congress is so divided, I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Oswald said.


Trump approved a disaster declaration for Nebraska on Thursday, making federal funding available in nine counties that bore the brunt of the recent floods. On Saturday, he approved one for flood-affected counties in Iowa.

Greg Ibach, a USDA undersecretary, is touring the damage in Nebraska, and Bill Northey, another undersecretary, will head to Iowa, agency officials told Reuters.

U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa said the farm belt states would need more aid, suggesting a separate relief bill to offer compensation to farmers for livestock killed in the floods and grains in storage that will have to be destroyed.

“The United States government has always been the insurance of last resort,” Grassley said in a phone interview on Friday.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts put agricultural flood damage for the state at nearly $1 billion. Iowa officials are projecting losses of at least $1.6 billion, with at least $214 million in damage to the agriculture sector. Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said her state would need assistance beyond what is granted through disaster declarations.

Farmers, meanwhile, are staring at waterlogged fields and expecting more floods. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said last week that the flooding would worsen in coming weeks as snow on the ground melts and water flows downstream.

Iowa farmer Dave Newby said the standing water in his fields was already threatening his planned start to corn in mid-to-late April. Newby, like many farmers, had been looking to boost his corn plantings this year because such a large volume of soybeans had been left unsold because of the trade war.

The same was the case in nearby Nebraska. Parts of flooded farmland remained under water and farmers had yet to assess the damage the piled-up sand, silt and debris caused to the soil. Almost all said planting will likely be delayed, which could lead to lower yields.

“Normal planting would take place around May 1, but I doubt we will make it,” said Kendal Sock, a cattle and corn farmer in Genoa. “I wish they’d get this trade deal done, like now.”

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and P.J. Huffstutter; Additional reporting by Mark Weinraub and Tom Polansek in Chicago and Jarrett Renshaw in New York; Editing by Caroline Stauffer, David Gaffen, Simon Webb and Leslie Adler)

Your Money: What another U.S. interest rate rise means for you

A woman shows U.S. dollar bills at her home in Buenos Aires, Argentina August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

By Beth Pinsker

NEW YORK (Reuters) – If you have credit card debt, take the next U.S. Federal Reserve move to raise interest rates as a big, flashing warning sign.

Short-term rates are the most affected when the government nudges up the federal funds rate, which the Fed is expected to do on Wednesday, likely raising it a quarter point. That will be the third move in 2018 and the eighth since the Fed started inching rates up from effectively zero in December 2015. One more hike is expected before the end of the year.

“That means your 15 percent interest rate on a credit card is now a 17 percent rate,” said Greg McBride, chief economist for “If you haven’t already, it’s important to take steps to insulate yourself.”

The message to get out of debt is a hard sell to the American households holding nearly a trillion dollars in credit card debt, according to’s 2017 survey.

Many pay only the monthly minimum payments, incurring interest charges that balloon their balances.

It is a “treadmill to nowhere,” McBride said.

On a card with a $10,000 balance, paying the minimum (interest plus 1 percent of the balance) will cost you $12,000 in interest and take 27 years to pay off at a 15 percent rate. Bump that up to a 17 percent interest rate, and you pay $13,600 in interest – plus, it would take an extra year to be out of debt, according to’s calculator (

Experts say you should push your credit card debt to a zero-percent balance transfer card. You can still get offers for as long as 21 months, with fees, according to Nick Clements, co-founder of the money advice site Then pay down as much money as you can to reduce the debt in that time period.

It is also a good idea to explore the personal loan market, where rates are rising but not as fast because of competition, Clements said. These loans have short repayment periods, typically under five years.


If you are in debt and own a home, now is not necessarily the best time to be tempted with a home equity loan to pay off debt, said Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist of housing site

The variable interest rates of a home equity loan are also affected by the Fed raising interest rates, although not as highly correlated.

The biggest risk? Cashing out home equity to pay down debt, but then as soon as you are even, digging another financial hole and not having anything left to tap.

“You need a broader plan to control your spending,” said Kapfidze.

For those looking to buy a house or refinance, the latest Fed move will have a slower impact. Other things influence mortgage rates along with the Fed funds rate, but those factors are heading in the same direction.

Kapfidze does not expect any large mortgage rate moves in the near term, but that, he said, is because there had already been a runup in recent weeks.

Savings rates are the last to move because of Fed actions. Banks raise rates on what they are selling before they raise rates on what they are buying, Kapfidze said.

But if savers turn into shoppers, they will find some better deals in the coming months. Online banks are being particularly aggressive about rates for certificates of deposit, with new players like Goldman Sachs’ Marcus, Clements said.

Investors should look at the yield on their fixed income investments, which might be around 3 percent and compare it to a 12-month CD for 2.5 percent.

“If you think about it, low rates mean people take more risk. As rates are rising, people should be able to take less risk,” Clements said.

(Editing by Lauren Young and Bernadette Baum)