A report by Demos National Survey on Credit Card Debt recently conducted with AARP’s Public Policy Institute revealed that in 2012, for the first time, middle-income households headed by an individual over 50 years old carried more credit card debt on average than households of people younger than 50.
According to the report, at least half of those over 50 in credit card debt had medical charges on their credit cards; while a third admitted, they used credit cards to finance daily expenses. For many seniors, the stress of credit card debt is so impacting because it is much more difficult for them to generate income.
The reason so many seniors are in credit card debt, varies. In some instances, they may have carried debt into retirement; in other cases, seniors may still be paying off student loan debt (either theirs or their children’s); and in too many instances, seniors may rely on credit cards to cover daily expenses because they were unable to save enough to live on during their retirement.
Experts encourage seniors who find themselves struggling to manage credit card debt to contact their card issuer and work out a payment plan.