Costly Credit: African Americans and Latinos in Debt

Borrowing to Make Ends Meet Briefing Paper #5

By the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Demos

May 1, 2005

Summary

While there were income gains in the late 1990s, the average American’s credit card debt rose faster than ever before. This paper documents the dramatic rise in credit card debt and provides a snapshot of these trends by race between 1992 and 2001. For example, African-American and Hispanic families were more likely, overall, to carry a credit card balance than whites.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaway

Access and Debt

Increasing numbers of African-American and Hispanic families gained access to credit cards throughout the 1990s, and both groups were also more likely to carry a credit card balance.

Percent of Cardholders With Credit Card Debt, 1992-2001

Findings & Stats

Statements & Quotations