What is American credit card debt, and how does it compare to other forms of private debt? A credit card is usually used for everyday expenses and consumer goods such as food, clothes, entertainment, etc. It is much more convenient to carry around a card instead of money or a checkbook. Some people use it to get points or rewards which they can later use to purchase something. One does not normally use a credit card to make an investment. Private debt can be mortgages, car loans or student loans. Credit card debt is generally accumulated slowly but will easily become a very large debt. Private debt is also a large debt, but you receive it in a lump sum. For example, a car loan would be a specific amount of money, and you would receive it all at one time. You can use credit cards for almost anything, but private debt like a mortgage is only to be used in buying a house. Interest is also different between the two. Private debt is lower than credit card debt because mortgages, car loans, and student loans have collateral or backing. Ultimately both accumulate debt and should be paid off as soon as possible. Credit card debt has changed over the last few years. In 2008, the American Credit Card debt was around $950 billion. This is a very high debt but in the past four years it has been reduced. Now in 2013, the American Credit Card debt is $843 billion. As we can see Americans owe a lot in credit card debt. This is very disastrous. If we Americans wish to be free we should not owe anyone anything. Whenever we must borrow money it should be for an investment or important item, not consumer goods. Also, the debt should be paid off as soon as possible. We must be free of debt to be truly free.