Credit card debt is on the rise, eclipsing 2009 levels, the year the economy suffered the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Total revolving debt – a fancy term for credit card debt – stood at $935.6 billion in December 2015, compared to $921.9 billion in December 2009, per a report from New York-based research firm ValuePenguin. The average household has over $15,779 in debt. ‘Economic conditions are definitely improving, but consumer habits aren’t,’ said Robert Harrow, senior credit card analyst at ValuePenguin. Consumers have been gifted with a significant stimulus: low gas prices. The average price for a gallon of gas currently stands at $1.76 a gallon, compared to $2.41 during the same time last year, according to AAA. That’s a 27% decrease. ‘Even if people have more in their pocket to pay off their debt, they might be more inclined to make purchases they can’t afford and a credit card allows them to do that,’ Harrow added. Scott Gamm has details from Wall Street.
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