WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Right now, Americans are facing credit card interest rates over 20%.
The issue is prompting calls for actions in Washington.
“We’re seeing triple trouble, basically,” said Ted Rossman, a financial analyst with Bankrate. “More debt, higher interest rates and more people carrying that debt.”
With the Federal Reserve raising interest rates to cool inflation, on average, Americans are paying more than 20% in credit card interest each month.
“That is just outrageous,” said Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo.
Hawley says struggling Americans need a break. He’s introducing legislation to cap credit card interest rates at 18%.
“Eighteen percent is more than enough profit for these companies to make, and it would really give working people a shot,” he said.
But according to Rossman, a cap will do little to alleviate financial stress.
“Honestly, if it’s 16% or 18 or 20 or 22, it almost doesn’t matter,” Rossman said. “Because they’re all high.”
Financial experts say consumers in a bind should consider using zero-interest introductory rate cards to pay down their debt.
“Zero percent balance transfer cards last as long as 21 months,” Rossman said. “You have almost two years with no interest. That’s a tremendous tailwind.”
Rossman says he does not anticipate average rates to drop anytime soon.
“We remain strongly committed to bringing inflation to our 2% goal,” said Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
While the Federal Reserve chose not to raise rates in September, as inflation lingers, the central bank is signaling another rate hike is on the way before the end of the year.