Report: People in Utah and the nation are paying down credit cards

 If you've spent much of this year trying to pay down your credit card debt, you're not alone. According to a recent report, Americans paid off $35 billion in credit card debt in the first quarter of this year. Photo credit: Montana Department of Justice.

<span>SALT LAKE CITY – It’s looking to be a better year financially for those in Utah and across the country as a recent analysis shows that Americans are making progress in paying down their credit card debt. </span>

<span>According to the </span><a href=”http://www.cardhub.com/edu/credit-card-debt-study/#debt-management-tips” target=”parent”>study by CardHub</a><span>, a card comparison website, almost $35 billion in credit card debt was paid off in the first quarter alone. Still, that’s considerably less than the roughly $46 billion in debt that was accrued in the previous quarter, says CardHub’s spokeswoman Jill Gonzalez.</span>

<span>”We’re getting farther from the recession, a lot of people say we’re not all the way out of it yet, but I think consumers are now willing and wanting to spend more,” says Gonzalez. “Unfortunately they’re still spending money that they don’t necessarily have.”</span>

<span>The credit card debt for the average household is now about $7,000, according to the report. To reduce that quickly, Gonzalez recommends paying off cards with the highest interest first, or transferring that debt to cards with lower rates.</span>

<span>Gonzalez says also key is having a budget.</span>

<span>”Making a budget, sticking to it,” she says. “That’s kind of the age-old advice, but really just spending less than you have to begin with and then the money that you are spending, make sure you’re setting it aside to pay off your debt.”</span>

<span>In addition to paying off debt, experts recommend building an emergency fund in case of job loss or an unexpected illness.</span>

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