Definition: Credit card debt is consumer debt that is meant to be paid off every month. For this reason, it is also known as revolving debt. Credit card debt reached a peak of $976 billion in October 2008. This is an average of $8,299 in credit card debt per household. This doesn't count auto loans, mortgages, or school loans.
The easy availability of credit card debt meant that many people had excessive debt. They bought more than they could pay off every month. Many people simply paid the minimum every month and continued to live beyond their means. This excessive credit card debt fueled continued economic growth for many years.
The recession curtailed credit card debt. It has dropped over 10% in each of the first three months of 2009. Despite this drop-off, credit card debt was still at $931 billion in April. This is an average of $7,957 of credit card debt per household.
Also Known As: revolving consumer debt
Examples: Credit card debt has been a huge driver of the economy.