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How to knock out holiday credit card debt

With retailers reporting strong holiday sales, and some consumers saying they turned to plastic to fund those purchases, it looks like 2018 will be the year that credit card debt crosses $1 trillion.

“The scary number — $1 trillion — we’ll definitely hit in 2018,” said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with WalletHub. “It seems to say a lot of American consumers did not learn their lesson from the recession and are returning to living beyond their means.”

Credit card debt stood at $808 billion on Sept. 30, the end of the third quarter, according to the most recent data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. That’s $280 billion more than the previous high hit in 2008, at the height of the financial crisis that led to the Great Recession.

Updated numbers for the fourth quarter of 2017, which ended Dec. 31, should be released in mid-February.


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