Older Americans Carry More Credit Card Debt

January 15, 2013 | | USA Today |

Older Americans rely on credit cards as their financial safety net and pay down less of their debt than younger consumers, a new study shows.

Last year, the low- and middle-income 50-plus population had an average credit card balance of $8,278, compared with the younger generation's balance of $6,258, according to research conducted by Demos, a liberal public policy organization on behalf of AARP.

The older generation managed to reduce their balances by 16% from 2008 to 2012. But the under-50 age group surpassed that, paying off 37% of their credit card debt in the same period.