Consumer Watch: More Americans have savings, debt still high

More savings doesn't mean less debt for many Americans (KOKH).

A shift in the way Americans handle money means more stable savings accounts for many.

The personal finance website Bankrate reports now 58-percent of Americans say they have more money in savings than in credit card debt. That's up from the 52-percent in 2017 and 2016.

Bankrate has conducted this survey for the last several years, but there are still Americans who report being only one unexpected emergency away from being in a financial crisis.

The average U.S. citizen owes $5,839 in credit card debt according to the survey, so a higher amount of savings is a major step forward. Still, personal finance experts tell Fox 25 Consumer Watch that once Americans have a savings crash pad, they need to focus on paying down their debt instead of treading water in an attempt to keep saving money.

Priorities for different generations are part of what is changing these numbers. Bankrate's data shows Gen-X and Baby Boomers are more likely to focus on debt pay off, but millennials are laser focused on building an emergency savings.

If you are trying to pay debt off faster, there are debt payoff calculators online that can help you decide on the right payment to pay down debt on your timeline.

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