Americans repaid $40.3 billion in credit card debt during the first quarter of 2018, according to a new analysis of data from the personal-finance website WalletHub. That’s the second-highest amount paid off in one quarter since the first quarter of 2009, when consumers paid off more than $44 billion.
Now, the bad news: Their debts are not getting that much smaller. Americans ended 2017 with $91.6 billion in new credit-card debt, the largest annual amount since 2007 and 104 percent above the post-recession average. Outstanding credit card debt is at the second-highest point since the end of 2008.
In 2017, Americans hit a record high of $1.021 trillion in outstanding revolving debt (often categorized as credit-card debt). As of April 2018, they still had more $1.030 trillion to pay off, according to the Federal Reserve.