Brazilians have never been in so much credit card debt

Credit Card
Photo: Olleg/Shutterstock

The use of so-called “revolving credit” has never been higher in Brazil — reaching BRL 224 billion (USD 42.5 billion) in 2021. Revolving credit is created when customers cannot pay the entirety of their credit card bills, pushing the unpaid portions into many future installments.

The use of revolving credit in 2021 was 23 percent higher than in the previous year, highlighting the struggles facing Brazilian families after two generational economic crises — in 2014-2016, and since the beginning of the pandemic. With the lingering job crisis, rising inflation, and higher interest rates, families often find it impossible to get out of debt.

According to the Central Bank, interest rates over revolving credit reached 349 percent a year in October.

Brazilians, meanwhile, have used BRL 348 billion in overdrafts.