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Report: Irresponsible Spending Has Little Influence on Credit Card Debt

Irresponsible spending habits are not a cause of credit card debt in U.S. households, according to a new report, The Debt Disparity: What Drives Credit Card Debt in America.

The national survey of working age low- and middle-income households by public policy organization Demos finds that they accrue credit card debt due to lack of insurance coverage, expenses for children and unemployment.

"Contrary to popular belief, we find little evidence that households with credit card debt are less responsible in their spending habits than households that do not have accumulated debt," according to the report. "Instead we see that, among similarly situated low- and middle-income households of working age, factors like education, value of assets to fall back on, insurance coverage and whether a household member has lost a job are among the foremost predictors of whether a household will accumulate credit card debt."