As American debt continues to pile up, one credit card expert advised consumers to curb spending and fight it before things get worse.
"We've seen that inflation may be leveling off, but is still certainly an issue," LendingTree chief credit analyst Matt Schulz said on "Mornings with Maria" on Tuesday. "So whatever you can do to try and knock down that credit card debt, you should do, because if you do nothing that debt you have is only going to get more expensive."
According to a LendingTree report, holiday credit card debt dropped a single percentage point in 2022 to 35% from the previous year. However, the amount of debt incurred rose 24% averaging $1,549.
According to Schulz the best thing to fight debt is to get a new card with 0% APR to pay off old credit.
"Maybe the best weapon in your arsenal against credit card debt is a 0% balance transfer credit card," he said.
While these cards may have some prerequisites "it's important to know that there are some fees associated with those. There [is] some fine print that you need to know," he continued. "But if you have good credit and you probably do need good credit to get one of those cards, those sorts of cards can be an absolute godsend for somebody who is struggling with credit card debt."
With higher inflation, the cost of living rising and the Federal Reserve continuing to hike rates, consumers are having to dip into savings or turn to credit cards. However, this does not mean everyone is struggling.
"It's almost always partially a sign of some people being confident in being able to manage that debt they're taking on. So they take on a little more. And then also folks who are taking on credit card debt because they don't have any choice because they're struggling to make ends meet," Schulz explained.
Schulz went on the say despite the economic troubles and uncertainty faced by consumers, there is still some optimism.
"I don't think there's any question that as inflation has risen, as interest rates have risen, we've seen more and more people struggling. But even then, the data that we see from the Fed in terms of late payments and things like that are still really, really low. So it's a sign that, yeah, debt's increasing, interest rates are increasing, but by and large, people are still handling their business pretty well."