Who added credit card debt during the pandemic?
About half of Americans have credit card debt, and among them, a new Bankrate survey finds over 40% have more debt now at the start of the pandemic.
This is especially true for the youngest. More than half of people 40 and under owe more on their credit cards now than a year and a half ago, while people over 40 are much less likely to have increased their card debt credit during this period.
“It really shows that young adults have been in many ways the hardest hit financially by the pandemic,” said Ted Rossman, industry analyst at Bankrate. He said part of this was because young people generally had less savings, lower wages and more student debt to start with. There is something else.
“They were the most likely to work in service sector jobs that were negatively affected, the most likely to lose their jobs or lose income.” Rossman said.
Many people who have worked in restaurants has also struggled to get unemployment, said Saru Jayaraman, director of UC Berkeley’s Food Labor Research Center.
“People had to find a way to feed their children, people had to find a way to pay their bills and people were using their credit cards. That’s what people were doing last year, ”Jayaraman said.
And, she says, what many are still doing this year, now that stimulus controls are gone and unemployment has ended.