Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - The financial website Wallet Hub recently released a report on the number of credit cards that Americans have in their wallets, and it seems that Montana residents have fewer than most states, however, analyst Cassandra Happe said overall, Americans are drowning in credit card debt.

Nationwide, Credit Card Debt is over $1 Trillion

“Nationwide, credit card debt is over $1 trillion,” began Happe. “So there really is a problem with credit card debt. However, what I think consumers tend to forget when it comes to their credit cards is that the interest compounds on these accounts, so you may start out with a much smaller balance but as that interest starts adding and your overall debt is really starting to build if you're not paying substantially on the balance itself, that is, if you're just paying on the interest.”

Happe provided details on the number of credit cards that Americans have and use.

Montana Ranks as the Third Lowest in the Number of Credit Cards per Person

“For this study, we looked at all 50 states across two key dimensions; the number of cards in total that residents have and the increase in the number of cards both from year over year, and from quarter to quarter,” she said. “So Montana ranked as the third lowest as far as how many credit cards they have per resident, which is great. That's a great sign that Montanans are being very mindful of the different credit lines that they have open.”

Happe reminded KGVO listeners and website readers that credit cards are a great tool, but that credit card debt can be a cruel master.

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The Wallet Hub Analyst Advised Against Taking on Too Much Debt

“You don't want to be taking on credit card debt because you'll be spending beyond your means,” she said. “Credit cards are a great tool for building your credit as long as you use them wisely. If you make at least the minimum payments, but ideally more, and keep that balance low, then they will do great things for your credit.”

Click here to access the Wallet Hub credit card payoff calculator.

LOOK: Where people in Montana are moving to most

Stacker compiled a list of states where people from Montana are moving to the most using data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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