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Some predict credit card debt will rise

It appears as if consumers in Florida, and the rest of the United States, are making real headway in paying down credit card debt. However, as the economy continues to rebound, experts predict that consumer debt will also start to creep back up.

According to recent data, last year, consumers reduced their credit card debt by 11 percent. The average consumer reportedly had $6,576 in credit card debt last year, which is lower than the $7,404 average of 2010.

Of course, these numbers reflect a combined national average, and some states reported higher debts than others. In Florida, for 2011 the average consumer had $6,658 in credit card debt.

When looking at why there was an overall decline, sources point to the fact that consumer confidence has been down for some time. However, it seems this could all be short-lived, and that as the economy continues to get better, the thought it that people will start to once again put more on their credit cards.

Credit cards also only make up one piece of the debt pie, as many consumers also have automobile and mortgage debt. In fact, the average for mortgage debt remained steady year-to-year at $173,876, while auto loan debt rose 2 percent.

All of these factors combined, means the average American with a car loan, mortgage and credit, still has around $210,236 in debt.

Looking to the future, it's hard to say what exactly will happen. While the economy getting better is surely a good thing, it may be tempting for consumers to once again overspend and end up financially struggling to pay back what is owed.

Source: CNN, "Credit card debt drops 11%," Blake Ellis, Jan. 17, 2012

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