Consumer debt surge highest since 2001

Posted by administrator | 15/05/12 | Tagged Credit Card Debt

Consumer debt surge highest since 2001
News from Middletown Journal:

By Randy Tucker, Staff Writer 10:16 PM Monday, May 14, 2012

U.S. consumers continue to reach for their credit cards and sign off on auto loans at a brisk clip, boosting borrowing twice as fast as most economists had predicted.

Total U.S. consumer credit grew by $ 21.36 billion in March, according to the latest figures from the Federal Reserve. That was the biggest month-to-month jump since 2001 led by a surge in auto loans, personal loans and student loans, which combined for about $ 16 billion of the increase.

Credit card debt shot up, too, climbing by $ 5.1 billion after a $ 2.3 billion decline in February, according to the Fed.

As consumers increasingly leverage credit, local economists and financial experts continue to debate whether the turnaround from a lengthy period of austerity is good for the economy.

On one hand, a certain amount of consumer debt is necessary for a healthy economy since consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic growth.

But overspending consumers strung out on easy credit were among those hit hardest by the financial collapse of 2008, and some experts fear consumers could be heading for the same financial cliff they fell off at the start of the recession.

“We don’t see it as much now as we did before the…………… continues on Middletown Journal

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Squeeze some savings out of your credit card
News from Irish Times:

The Irish Times – Tuesday, May 15, 2012

By picking a card or deal that best suits your needs you can reduce the cost of credit card debt, writes FIONA REDDAN 

IT’S CONVENIENT, easily accessible, and only has to be repaid in small amounts each month. Unsurprisingly therefore, as the recession continues to bite, people are still relying on their credit cards to carry them through tough patches. Indeed despite – or perhaps because of – the radically changed financial circumstances that many people now find themselves in, the average outstanding debt per credit card in Ireland has fallen by just 6 per cent since the heady days of 2008 when it peaked at €1,350.

So if you’re one of those people whose “flexible friend” has become more of a “fiendish foe”, what do you need to know to change your situation?


If you have a sizeable outstanding credit card debt, it could be time to move to a credit card provider that offers 0 per cent for a limited time. Doing so i…………… continues on Irish Times

… Read the full article

5 Credit Card Rules for New Grads

Posted by administrator | 15/05/12 | Tagged Credit Card

5 Credit Card Rules for New Grads
News from Huffington Post:

It’s that time of year when tassels are turned and graduation caps are tossed into the air. And ready or not, a new group of young adults venture out into the real world.

If you just graduated, you might be looking forward to managing money on your own. Certainly, it’s deliciously liberating. But it can also be tricky, especially with credit cards because it’s so easy to spend like a maniac and get yourself into debt.

So to help you get started on the right track, I’ve put together five credit card rules that you should always keep in mind:

Rule #1: Don’t fall for flattery

You’ve probably received credit card offers while in college. You may even already have one or two cards. But once you’re employed, expect to get a ton of mailed offers.

The envelopes will entice you with language such as, “You’ve been selected!” and “You deserve this opportunity!” Card issuers will do their best to make you feel special and wanted.

Banks do want you, but they also want millions of others whom they told are special, too. Don’t apply for a new card unless you actually need it. Make a rational decision based on your needs and don’t fall for the hype.

Rule #2: Read the fine print before you apply 

If you do decide you need a credit card, it’s O…………… continues on Huffington Post

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If your credit card could talk, what would it say?
News from Fox Business:

So are you planning on getting the new talking credit card, Visa Voice?

Actually, there’s no such thing, but for a few seconds, before I realized I had stumbled onto the satirical fake news website, The Onion, I completely bought into its fake press release.

The Onion “reported” that Visa held a press event earlier this week to introduce “Visa Voice,” a new series of credit cards that talk to the cardholder. They quoted Visa president John Partridge (a real person) saying, “Whenever you’re near an item you’re hesitant to purchase, Visa Voice offers words of encouragement, such as ‘Come on, just go for it!’ and ‘Trust me — you’re not gonna regret this.”

If the cardholder didn’t make a purchase, The Onion went on to say, the card would start whispering, “You know you want it.”

Almost too close to home, it was this hilarious faux news item on The Onion that got me thinking that the humorists there might actually be on to something. Why? Because with some talking phones already possessing the capability to double as a credit card, and cardholders increasingly using mobile devices to make purchases, it probably won’t be too much longer before our credit cards do actually start talking…………… continues on Fox Business

… Read the full article

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