Nearly half of all U.S. adults who carry credit card debt—about 29 million people—say they’ve been carrying around a balance for at least two years now, according to new study released Thursday.
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Personal finance website Creditcards.com surveyed over 2,000 U.S. adults and found that of those 29 million with debt, half of them (15 million) have been carrying the extra load for at least five years.
The most likely offenders of debt were older Baby Boomers (age 63-71) at 63%, while the Silent Generation (ages 72+) followed at 57%.
However, the most common reason for added charges wasn’t splurges, Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at CreditCards.com says.
"What's driving people into credit card debt? Life. For millions of Americans, it isn't about splurging. They are going into credit card debt because they have to buy groceries, put the kids in daycare or even just keep the lights on," he says.
More than 50% of younger Millennials (ages 18-26) cited day-to-day expenses for their added debt, while only 35% of Generation Xers blamed their debt on simple life choices.
Additional reasons included: retail purchases (16%), medical bills (12%), home repairs (10%), vacation expenses (10%) and car repairs (7%).
CreditCards.com also found that people who make more money and have a higher education are more likely to carry debt than lower income, less educated and unemployed Americans.
Earlier this month, FOX Business reported on another study that projected overall credit card debt will reach well over $1 trillion by the end of 2017. This following the worst year for credit card debt since the Great Depression, where U.S. consumers ended 2016 with $87.2 billion in new credit card debt.