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Are Americans Being Money Foolish?

Poll QuestionWe have more evidence that credit card debt is creeping up again.

In July, the Federal Reserve reported revolving debt, which is overwhelmingly made up of credit card debt, was at its highest level in three years.

And now one of the major credit bureaus has found the first year-over-year gain in credit card balances in five years.

The worst financial crisis in decades is over, and Americans are falling into the same old traps.

Equifax’s latest National Consumer Credit Trends Report found that, for the year ending July 2013, the total balance on bank credit cards increased from $533.3 billion to $536.5 billion.

We know, that doesn’t look like too much. But we’re talking billions here.

Billions.

This can’t be said enough: Carrying a balance on a credit card is bad for your overall financial health. Not only will you pay interest — sometimes a lot of interest — your credit score can take a hit as well.

But you already know that. Pass your savvy consumer knowledge onto friends and relatives who might not.

The report also found the amount of new credit opened between January and May of this year was the highest since 2008. And, from last year at the same time, new credit increased more than 6% — from $72.9 billion to $77.7 billion.

The only good news: Serious delinquencies were down more than 11%.

Why do you think credit card balances are on the rise?

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People are carrying more balances because:
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