: Is America’s record credit-card debt a red flag for the economy? ‘The trends are definitely not good.’

by | Nov 14, 2023 | Stock Market

Genna Crites never carried a balance on her credit card. Growing up low-income in North Carolina, she spent her childhood eating free school lunches and watching her family struggle to make ends meet. After financial aid helped Crites graduate debt-free from college in 2021, she started working full-time for a software company, saving nearly two-thirds of her income.

But things changed when she started graduate school last fall. Crites’ savings quickly dwindled. Her part-time wages at a dessert shop near campus, about $13 to $14 an hour, haven’t kept up with expenses. As high inflation pushed prices up, all the basics of her budget became a little harder to cover, and the toll added up: $70 for a tank of gas. About $700 for her share of rent and utilities, and 30 extra minutes to drive to the grocery store with cheaper discounts.  And then there were the unexpected charges: Car repairs. Space heaters. Medical bills.  “I had a really good credit score up until this point,” said Crites, 24, who now carries a balance on her card of a couple thousand dollars from month to month. It’s currently $2,500. “It’s been really scary,” she told MarketWatch. She’s far from alone. Americans keep racking …

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