Consumers Pay Down $56.5 Billion Credit Card Debt in First Quarter

Consumers paid down $56.5 billion in credit card debt in the first quarter of 2021, a 51% larger pay down than the post-Great Recession first quarter average, according to a new report from WalletHub released today. This followed a record pay down of $82.1 billion in 2020.

The credit card charge-off rate was up 14.3% from last quarter, landing at 2.95%. The average household credit card balance was $7,519 in the first quarter, a 13.5% decline from the same quarter last year. WalletHub noted that outstanding credit card debt declined by 6.6% in the first quarter but said it expects a $60 billion overall increase in credit card debt in 2021 as the economy reopens and spending picks up after the pandemic.