"These are tough stats," Ted Rossman, industry analyst for CreditCards.com, tells CNBC Make It. That's especially true in the current environment, where the average credit card APR is at a record-breaking 17.57 percent.
"With credit card rates at record highs, that really works against you in a hurry," Rossman says. That's because credit cards, like retirement accounts, use compound interest, which can work both for and against you, he says.
In the case of your retirement accounts, compound interest is a good thing because you earn money faster (because, simply put, you're earning interest on your interest). But on credit cards, compound interest can make your debt grow just as quickly.
"You don't want this to drag on and on," Rossman says. The average household with credit card debt owes roughly $5,700, while those under the age of 35 owe $5,808. If you only paid the minimum on a $5,000 debt at the current average interest rate, you'd be in debt for over 18 years and pay roughly $11,400 in interest, explains Rossman.