What Is Credit Card Debt?

What Is Credit Card Debt?

By Charles Joseph | Editor, Financial Affairs
Reviewed by Corey Michael | Senior Financial Analyst

Credit card debt refers to the accumulated amount of money that a credit card borrower owes to the credit card company. This type of debt accrues when a cardholder purchases goods or services with a credit card, but does not repay the full amount by the due date. Instead, they carry over a balance to the next month, which is subject to interest charges. These charges are added to the unpaid balance, and over time, they can contribute to growing debt if the balance isn’t paid off.

Related Questions

1. How can credit card debt affect your credit score?

Credit card debt can negatively impact your credit score if it isn’t managed properly. High levels of debt and late or missed payments can lower your credit score, making it harder to get loans or credit in the future.

2. What is the best strategy for paying off credit card debt?

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The best strategy for paying off credit card debt differs from person to person, depending on the size of their debt and their financial circumstances. However, common strategies include paying more than the minimum payment each month, focusing on paying off the card with the highest interest rate first, and consolidating debt with a personal loan or balance transfer credit card.

3. Can credit card debt be forgiven?

While credit card companies rarely forgive entire balances, they may agree to reduce the amount you owe or lower your interest rate if you’re experiencing financial hardship. It’s always worth speaking to your credit card company if you’re struggling with payments.

4. What happens if you can’t pay your credit card debt?

If you can’t pay your credit card debt, you may face late fees, increased interest rates, and damage to your credit score. In serious cases, your account may be sent to collections, and legal action may be taken to recover the debt.

5. How long does it take to pay off credit card debt?

The length of time it takes to pay off credit card debt depends on several factors, including the size of the debt, the interest rate, and the amount of your monthly payments. The more you can pay each month, the faster you will be able to pay off your debt.