I met with a couple yesterday with over a $100K in credit card debt. When the bankruptcy schedules are filed, this will look like a case of consumer spending run amok. What, the casual observer will ask, did they buy for that amount of debt?
Medications, gas, and groceries, is the answer. Because this 50ish couple are both diabetic in addition to having been in a horrific car accident several years ago. When they moved to California from the midwest, their insurance premiums went from $800/ month to $1900/month. Their insurance does not cover doctor visits or medications. Credit cards help mitigate the desperateness of their situation for a while.
This supports my contention that credit cards simply mask, for a while anyway, the squeeze on the middle class. We can delude ourselves for a while that things are OK, when they are not.