JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's a habit millions of Americans know all too well: paying with plastic.
According to data released by credit reporting agency Experian, people in Florida are swiping their credit cards and running up their debt at the nation's second fastest rate, just behind Nevada.
Credit card balances in the sunshine state increased 8.59 percent compared to this time last year, which is well-above the national average of 6.58 percent, Experian reported.
Joe Krier, a senior wealth strategist at ACG Wealth, said credit card debt is a slippery slope and people need to tread carefully.
“Typically, credit cards have the highest interest rate of any type of debt that we hold," Krier said. "We call that unsecured credit, meaning that they don’t have a lien on your house or your car or anything and as such they charge a much higher interest rate to the point where people in a couple of years end up paying more in interest than they are paying in any other expense category.”
Krier stressed interest rates can accumulate, and in order to avoid any surprises, it’s best to make sure people are monitoring their credit cards and how much is being put on them on a monthly basis.
"One of the key things to do is to keep a list of what your credit cards are and what your balances are and look at that list," Krier advised. "If you’re looking at your balances every month, they don’t have the ability to sneak up on you as much as if you’re just ignoring it."
Krier said one of the main reason credit card debt has increased is because people have more confidence in the economy and are spending more.