Many Americans have more debt on credit cards than money in bank - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Many Americans have more debt on credit cards than money in bank

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(FOX19/CNN) -

Boy, we Americans are in a lot of debt! In fact, many of us have more money charged on our credit cards than we have in the bank. High gas prices, rising food costs, and other personal expenses are likely to blame.

In a recent survey by the Consumer Federation of America, 54% of Americans say they have a savings plan with specific goals. However, only 43% actually have a budget that allows them to save enough to meet those goals.

A separate survey done by Bankrate.com found that one in four Americans has credit card debt greater than what they have in the bank.

"The problem that a lot of households are confronting now is that their expenses continue to creep higher and their income is not," said Bankrate.com's Greg McBride. "And it just makes it that much more difficult to make progress on things like savings and debt repayment."

One approach to tackling that debt is paying off the loan or credit card with the highest interest rate first. But also try to come up with a plan that allows you to pay down debt while also putting away a consistent amount in savings.

With many of us getting tax refunds soon, it's a good time to get a jump start on paying off those cards.

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