Consumers cut back on credit card use in April
News from Houston Chronicle:

WASHINGTON – Americans cut back sharply on their credit card purchases in April, a sign that some may be worried about the slowdown in hiring.

The Federal Reserve said Thursday that consumers increased borrowing by $ 6.5 billion in April, just half of the March gain.

The gain was driven by a $ 9.96 billion rise in a category that includes auto and student loans. That offset a $ 3.4 billion drop in credit card debt, the first decline since January.

Total borrowing rose to a seasonally adjusted $ 2.55 trillion. That was slightly below the all-time high of $ 2.58 trillion reached in July 2008, eight months after the Great Recession began.

Consumers had begun to use credit cards more often at the start of the year, which coincided with solid job gains this winter. But hiring slowed sharply in April and May, which may have forced some to cut back on using their plastic.

Employers added just 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year, and just 77,000 jobs in April.

The economy added 252,000 jobs a month from December through February. Since then, job growth has slowed to a lackluster 96,000 a month.

More borrowing is generally viewed as a healthy sign for the economy. It suggests consumers are gaining confidence and growing more comfortable taking on debt.

But if consumers are cutting back on credit card debt, it may…………… continues on Houston Chronicle

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Credit cards: Top 4 tips for retirees
News from Christian Science Monitor:

Credit cards make sense in retirement, as long as you don’t slack off on managing your credit. Seniors who maintain a healthy credit history and high FICO scores will benefit – not only from low interest rates and better terms on loans, but also from leveraging lucrative credit card sign-up bonuses to earn thousands in free travel, cash back, or other merchandise. The key is to use credit cards responsibly. Here are four tips on how to use your credit cards in retirement: 

– Joshua Heckathorn, Contributor

Credit cards are pictured in a wallet in Washington in 2010. More than 1 in 3 seniors carries a credit card balance even though credit card debt is something retirees should avoid. (Stelios Varias/Reuters/File)

1. Credit cards take a back seat to…………… continues on Christian Science Monitor

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