Credit Card Debt Could Hit 2008 Peak of $1 Trillion This Year

Total outstanding credit card debt is set to hit $1 trillion in 2016, a level not seen since 2008, when the financial crisis was heating up.
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Total outstanding credit card debt is set to hit $1 trillion in 2016, a level not seen since 2008, when the financial crisis was heating up. During the first quarter of 2016, credit card debt stood at $951.6 billion, according to the Federal Reserve, nearing its all-time peak of $1.02 trillion in July 2008. But Brooke McGeehan, a vice president of financial planning at RBC Wealth Management, doesn't think the data suggests another credit crunch is brewing. 'We're in a much different place now than where were in July of 2008,' she said. 'In fact, we've spent the last eight years or so, both on a personal and corporate level, deleveraging balance sheets.' She also said consumer delinquency rates are at historic lows. As for why credit card debt is rising, McGeehan credits an improving labor market and the trend of more shoppers spending at online outlets, such as Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report . 'The only way to pay online is via credit card,' she said. For those in debt, McGeehan suggests paying more than the minimum payment printed on the statement. 'If you only make the minimum payment, you're only paying the interest,' she said. 'You're not making a dent in the actual debt you have.' TheStreet's Scott Gamm has details from Wall Street.