Do you ever feel like you’re in credit card hell and can’t escape?
It’s a complaint of many millennials who didn’t learn the lessons of previous generations more likely to shun debt, card pros say.
Young cardholders, according to a report from CreditCards.com, often take card points in cash or in travel credits, putting themselves in danger of running up long-term debt.
“Signup bonuses of at least $500 in cash or $1,200 in travel credit are considered the most attractive feature for a credit card,” the report said.
However, older cardholders, said CreditCards.com analyst Ted Rossman, tend to use the extra money to reduce pricey card debt.
This average card interest rate is between 17 percent and 25 percent. Carrying that kind of debt, Rossman added, often becomes a long-term problem.
Why do young cardholders fall into the card pit?
“Some of this is millennials love travel and want instant gratification,” Rossman said.
That, card pros say, is dangerous.
“Credit cards can be great, but you must know how to use them properly and the implications of what you are doing,” said Bill Hardekopf, founder of LowCards.com.
The danger of not retiring balances is that one often ends up in a debt spiral that goes on for years.
“The problem is there is a lack of awareness of how difficult card debt can be,” says Charles Hughes, a Long Island adviser.
In another CreditCards.com poll, 37 percent of credit-card debtors have been in debt for at least two years, 23 percent for at least three years and 14 percent for at least five years
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