(WFXR) – Household debt is climbing, reaching over $16 trillion in the third quarter of 2022, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The rise in debt is being seen across credit cards, mortgages, and auto loans.
Aliesje Chapman, like many other consumers, says she’s felt the impacts of rising costs.
“Especially as we’ve been planning for Thanksgiving dinner, you have to look twice at what you’re even planning to put on the menu with how expensive things are in stores right now,” she said. “It really is impacting everything from food to transportation to the clothes that we’re wearing, it’s everything.”
Experts say rising debt isn’t just due to higher prices. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates but is seeing people continue to spend, which economics Chair for the University of Lynchburg Gerald Prante says wasn’t really the point.
“The more spending occurs, the higher inflations going to be,” he said.
He adds that the reason for higher rates was to curb spending, which Dr. Nancy Hubbard, dean of the university’s College of Business, says is what people need to be doing.
Those high-interest rates are going to make it harder and harder to pay off debt, and make it more expensive to borrow. She says it may be time to create a budget — one where you write down your expenses and really track your spending. You should also go through your bank statement to see if you have any unnecessary subscriptions you can cancel.
“A third way is if you are really finding you’ve got a lot of credit card debt and you’re paying very high fees right now, you can consolidate your debt and get a new credit card that will give you zero percent interest for a period of time,” she explained, but it comes with a warning.
“I would use this with caution because you need to unload your debt during that time, and it will affect your credit score,” she cautions.
And while the Fed says that the third quarter of 2022 saw credit card balances rising at the highest rate in 20 years, Dr. Hubbard adds that the fourth quarter, known to consumers as “the holidays,” is always more expensive.