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Credit card debt
Old 09-04-2005, 11:24 AM   #1
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Credit card debt

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But with greater access have come debt burdens for many people. Much has been made of average credit-card balances near $9,000, although that figure is misleading. Derived from a 2001 Federal Reserve survey of consumer finances, the most recent version available, it reflects the burden for people who have credit cards and don't pay their balances in full each month.

Yet roughly 24 percent of Americans don't have credit cards, and many others pay their bills promptly.

Besides, as an average figure it's distorted by the relatively small number of borrowers who ring up huge debts. The median credit-card balance, according to the Fed study, was $1,900. That means half of card users owed more than $1,900 and half owed less.

More than 95 percent of accounts are paid as agreed, and other indicators show most people manage their credit well, said Dan Drummond, a spokesman for Your Credit Card Companies, an education group backed by several giant card issuers.

"The majority of folks don't owe that $9,000 figure everyone throws around," he said.

And there's other evidence Americans in general aren't lying buried under a pile of credit-card IOUs:


Consumer debt as a percent of assets actually declined modestly from 1992 to 2001, according to the Fed study, while credit-card balances as a percent of all debt held steady at around 3 percent.


Average credit-card balances accumulated by college students, $2,169, are at a seven-year low, according to Nellie Mae, a student-loan company.


Figures from the American Bankers Association suggest the number of people with serious credit-card problems appears to have peaked. A record 4.43 percent of accounts were delinquent in the fourth quarter of 2003, but that's down to 4.03 percent now.

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Re: Credit card debt
Old 09-04-2005, 12:41 PM   #2
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Re: Credit card debt

Quote:
Consumer debt as a percent of assets actually declined modestly from 1992 to 2001, according to the Fed study, while credit-card balances as a percent of all debt held steady at around 3 percent.
I'm sure that the greatest bull run in history had nothing to do with this fact.

Quote:
Average credit-card balances accumulated by college students, $2,169, are at a seven-year low, according to Nellie Mae, a student-loan company.
What about student loan debt? I know that I paid off my CCs while in college (books, etc), but that money was simply student loan money.

Quote:
Figures from the American Bankers Association suggest the number of people with serious credit-card problems appears to have peaked. A record 4.43 percent of accounts were delinquent in the fourth quarter of 2003, but that's down to 4.03 percent now.[/i]
The fact that people can very easily cash out some of their home equity to pay down bills doesn't help this stat either. I think that the problem still exists, it's just hiding behind other forms of debt.
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Re: Credit card debt
Old 09-04-2005, 02:54 PM   #3
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Re: Credit card debt

Quote:
More than 95 percent of accounts are paid as agreed, and other indicators show most people manage their credit well, said Dan Drummond, a spokesman for Your Credit Card Companies, an education group backed by several giant card issuers.
I suspect that the credit card industry wants there to be "a rosy picture" so that more consumer protections/laws dont become an issue (needed or not). I know some folks that have huge balances (put the money in money market accounts or pay down home loans with bt's, but I doubt that is a large number of the total with large balances). I assume it is people with job losses and medical problems with a little bit of consumerism included).
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