Consumer Payment Card News

Sluggish Start

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True to their New Year resolutions, Americans have begun to slow down on credit card debt. During January, consumers added a mere $1.2 billion to revolving debt, compared to $6.9 billion one year ago. Revolving credit has been flat since September when it stood at $692.7 billion. According to the monthly figures released by the Federal Reserve last week, revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, stands at $693.6 billion at the end of January. Revised figures for December shows revolving credit declined 9.8%. One year ago, revolving debt increased 11.6% in January and 5.0% during December 2000. Most consumer polls have indicated that the majority of Americans intend to pay down credit card debt this year. A recent home page poll by CardWeb.com revealed that more than 60% of consumers plan to charge less to credit cards during 2002 than last year. However only 31% say they will use their debit cards less this year than 2001. An amazing 94% indicate they will pay down credit card debt during 2002. More than 80% plan to save more in 2002 than last year. Surprisingly, only 14% plan to consolidate credit card debt to a home equity loan or home mortgage in 2002. At the end of January 2002, American consumers were $1.668 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages, according to the Federal Reserve. For more information: http://www.federalreserve.gov.

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