News Credit Card Debt Sees Biggest Annual Spike Since 2001 Off the Charts: The Visual Says It All By Diccon Hyatt Diccon Hyatt Diccon Hyatt has written hundreds of articles about how public policy and the economy intersect with personal finance, tracking all the latest dynamics affecting your money. Before joining The Balance, he covered business and community news for 17 years, including Princeton, New Jersey's high-tech Route 1 Corridor. learn about our editorial policies Published on November 15, 2022 Photo: martin-dm / Getty Images Inflation has been surging this year, and so has our credit card debt. Consumers’ credit card balances have risen 15% over the last year as of September—the biggest annual spike since 2001, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said Tuesday. Total credit card debt stood at $930 billion at the end of the third quarter, up from $890 billion at the end of the second quarter and tying the record set in the fourth quarter of 2019 just before the pandemic struck. The report is based on a sample of financial data gathered from credit reporting agency Equifax. Credit card debt has likely increased over the last year for the simple reason that we’ve been spending more—hardly a surprise since inflation is running near a 40-year high, economists at the Fed said in a blog post assessing the data. That’s the exact opposite of what happened during the earlier days of the pandemic, when consumers cut back spending and paid down their debts at a furious pace. But this year, people had slightly more trouble paying down the extra debt. The number of accounts with payments more than a month overdue rose for the third quarter in a row, climbing to 5.24% from 4.76% in the second quarter. While that’s still below the pre-pandemic rate of 6.95%, Fed economists said the uptick is worth monitoring in case it’s a sign of future economic trouble. Have a question, comment, or story to share? You can reach Diccon at email@example.com. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit,” Page 2.