Shoppers racked up more debt this year than last during the holidays. Daniel Acke, Bloomberg
Photo: Staff Writer
Photo: Staff Writer

Credit card debt survey results an ‘ominous’ sign for personal finance

The results of a new survey on personal finance are being called an "ominous" sign.

The number of people who owe more on their credit cards than what they have in their emergency stash is at the highest level in a Bankrate survey's nine-year history. 

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Twenty-nine percent of households surveyed reported their credit card debt was higher than their emergency savings, which was a jump from last year's 21 percent. 

The survey also shows only 44 percent of respondents have more in emergency savings than the amount they owe on their credit cards — the lowest amount in the survey's history. 

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Bankrate's chief financial analyst Greg McBride says it's "an ominous indicator of the financial health among American households." 

Couple this with Federal Reserve stats showing a record seven million Americans are 90 days or more behind on their auto loan payments and it indicates we are struggling to pay our bills despite lower unemployment and higher wages. 

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News Center 7 consumer reporter Rachel Murray is digging into these trends and will find out what's behind them, and what you can do about it if you are among those struggling to pay your bills. Watch tonight on WHIO-TV at 5 p.m.

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