(BET) — Whether it’s the new car, new handbag, new shoes or new something, there’s no doubt that Black folk will stay sharp, but at what cost is it to keep up with the Jones? It may not cost anything the moment the purchase is made, but billions of dollars from African-Americans are going into the pockets of credit card companies every year. In fact, studies show that African-Americans are much more reliant on credit cards and an alarming eighty-five percent of African-American households hold a balance on their credit cards in comparison to fifty-four percent of white households. “We don’t know where the leaks exist in the boat,” says Ryan Mack, a CNN contributor and president and founder of Optimum Capital Management LLC, a premiere financial planning firm. He says that debt has Black Americans in a boat attempting to make it to the other side of the river− to financial freedom. But, every time one tries to get across, their boat starts sinking and they have to swim back to the other side, or back to debt.