How to measure financial success

Measurement 4.

Credit card debt

When it comes to getting ahead in life, credit card debt is a terrible anchor.

Why? Because credit cards charge the highest interest rates – typically about 18% to 22% – and allow borrowers to string repayments out for so long that it greatly inflates the cost of everything they buy.

Way too much money that families should be saving and investing in themselves and their futures winds up in the pocket of credit card companies.

According to a recent Gallup survey, 29% of Americans don't own any credit cards, and half of those who do use them (48% to be exact) say they pay off the balance every month.

But Federal Reserve data show households that carry credit card debt owe, on average, a substantial $15,480.

If you have balances on your credit cards, you need to figure out exactly how much you owe and create a plan to pay them off.

Our credit card payoff calculators can help you come up with a plan to pay off a single card or a bunch of credit cards.