According to an article in CNN, America’s senior citizens are racking up credit card debt at a rate that outpaces other groups.

The article said:

“People age 65 and up carried an average of $10,235 credit card debt in 2008, according to a study released Tuesday by Demos, a public policy research group. That’s an increase of 26% since the organization’s last survey of low- and middle-income borrowers in 2005. The average debt for all borrowers in the survey rose just 3%, to $9,827, during that same time period.”

The rising cost of health care and the dependence on credit cards for emergencies are the main reasons for senior citizens carrying such a heavy debt load. A matter of fact, more than 50 percent of all families struggling with credit card debt cited medical expenses as the primary reason for their credit card indebtedness. More specifically, the average household stated that $2,194 of their credit card debt was caused by medical expenses while, seniors blamed almost $4,000 of their credit card debt on medical expenses.

As retirement savings shrink and the cost of living increases, we can expect to see more senior citizens accrue credit card debt due to medical expenses.