In years past, you might have used a credit card only for emergencies or large purchases. You would have carried balances on credit cards only if you couldn’t cover your basic expenses. But credit card use has boomed. And if you regularly put a balance on your credit card, you’re not alone.

A recent study by WalletHub found Americans added the most debt in the second quarter of 2019 than ever before. And with a $1.5 billion increase, Illinois ranked fifth in the states with the highest increase.

Credit card debt reaching record highs

Between April and June in 2019, Americans added $35.6 billion in new credit card debt. This is the highest ever increase of credit card debt in a quarter. This follows 2018’s record year when credit card debt reached $1 trillion. While the first quarter of 2019 saw a decline, the second quarter resulted in an expected increase of $70 billion by the end of 2019.

Illinois among the top five states with highest credit card debt

At the end of the second quarter of 2019, Illinois citizens owed $41.6 billion. This means an average of around $9,000 of credit card debt for each Illinois household.

Analysts for the study pointed to an increase in credit card use for travel and basic necessities as a reason for the high amount of debt. As people use credit cards more and more, credit card balances get higher.

Credit card debt can become unmanageable

Like many Americans, you may use your credit card for basic purchases as well as for luxuries. Doing so can quickly lead to a high credit card balance that becomes difficult to pay off. If you find your credit card debt to be unmanageable, you may want to speak with a bankruptcy attorney to research your options.