Americans Worry About Paying Credit Card If COVID Surge Continues

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Sad couple with debt
Marcos Mesa Sam Wordley /

Most Americans with credit card debt — 62% — worry that they won’t be able to make a minimum credit card payment sometime in the next three months if the coronavirus pandemic rages on, according to a new survey.

Millennials are especially concerned, with 87% saying they won’t be able to make minimum payments if they cannot work, according to the new poll from And 79% say they won’t be able to make the minimum if COVID-19 cases continue to surge.

The survey was conducted in mid-July, and included more than 2,300 respondents.

Overall, about 66% of Americans carry some form of personal debt, with 36% carrying credit card debt.

Survey takers said they are most likely to struggle with making a minimum payment if:

  • They are unable to work now or in the future (61%)
  • There is no more government stimulus money (56%)
  • Their $600 weekly supplemental unemployment benefits end (26%)

Still, many people are taking on even more credit card debt in these tough times. Among all credit card debtors, 25% have taken on more credit card debt as a direct result of the pandemic. For millennials, the figure is 39%.

Getting out of credit card debt

While survey respondents worry about their near-term ability to make credit card payments, they are surprisingly optimistic about the long-term prospects of dumping their debt.

Just 9% expect to die in debt, while 8% say they don’t know when they will be debt-free. Both figures are up slightly from January but still represent optimism, says Martin Lynch, compliance manager and director of education at Cambridge Credit Counseling. He told

“It might be a case of whistling past the graveyard, or it may be a sign that American consumers are resolving to resume paying down debt as soon as this crisis passes.”

If you are struggling with credit card debt, a little professional help can go a long way toward helping you turn things around. Stop by Money Talks News’ Solutions Center to find free help with managing your debts.

You can also check out articles such as “The Best Way to Kill Off Your Credit Card Debt.”

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