The average variable rate across credit cards tracked by Bankrate surpassed 17 percent for the first time on May 30th. This new record could have significant implications for consumers, given that the average household with credit card debt carries $9,100 on credit cards alone. Higher interest rates mean higher ongoing costs for borrowers struggling to chip away at debt or keep above water financially. Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at, says the Federal Reserve is the primary factor behind the climbing rates. “As the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates, this will push credit card rates still higher,” he forecasts, although how high they will go is unknown. It is certain, however, that higher interest rates have arrived; and the outlook could get worse before it gets better. (06/06/18) Holly D. Johnson


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