Americans are ending 2014 with a binge — on credit-card debt.
The year that began with a flood of red ink is now seeing credit-card and other debt spiking higher as it comes to an end.
Consumers have continued pulling out the plastic this year, with a nearly $16 billion increase in debt in the third quarter. [...]
Thanks in part to stagnant wages and underemployment, people are putting essentials like food on their credit cards. In fact, a May report from think tank Demos showed that job losses and lack of health insurance are the key predictors of whether or not low- and middle-income households rack up debt on their credit cards.
“Debt to the rescue” has become so widespread that 18 percent of Americans now say they never expect to pay off their debts. That’s double the number who felt that way last year, according to a new survey from Creditcards.com.