Since the economic downturn six years ago, Americans have gotten some new spending habits. Those habits may be better for your bank account, but are worse for credit card companies.
With fewer people spending less with their credit cards, companies have been steadily increasing interest rates. According to the credit card industry group CardHub the average interest rate for someone with fair credit is now a whopping 21%. That is up over 2-percentage points since last year.
Gail Cunningham with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling says for people who may their bills the interest rate shouldn't matter, "The interest rate really doesn't matter, if you'll pay off your bill in full each and every month. If you don't, you're going to pay the price."
On a $10,000 balance, if you make the minimum payment each month you will end up paying over four-times the original principal by the time it gets paid off. And when you do get behind on payments credit card companies aren't exactly know for their tact when trying to get you to pay up.
This situation has lead to credit-shame among Americans. In a recent survey by the NFCC, they found that people are most ashamed of their credit card debt. Willing to admit things like their weight, age, and credit score, before revealing their credit card debt.