According to a recent survey by American Consumer Credit Counseling 55% of consumers have 3 or more credit cards, and nearly 30% have more than 4 credit cards.
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the average credit card holder in 2013 had 2.7 general purpose cards and 1.4 branded cards.
“Many consumers are probably not aware of the bad credit card habits that could lead to increased debt and financial problems,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is based in Newton, MA.
“Bad credit habits such as paying late, maxing out cards, balance transfers and carrying a balance can all lead to financial distress in the short and long-term. Maxing out a credit card can be particularly problematic for consumers and can result in higher minimum payments, making balances harder to repay and lowering credit scores.”
According to the survey, nearly 80% of respondents say they do not use their credit cards for cash advances. Fifty-four percent of respondents do not use balance transfers and about 16% of those consumers do not know what a balance transfer is.
Thirty-seven percent of respondents who already have at least one credit card would sign up for retail cards at their favorite store, according to the survey. However, 44% say they would never sign up for a store card.
Of those respondents, 56% say they would skim through or try to understand the fine print. On the flip side, 29% of consumers admit they wouldn’t read the fine print at all.
Fifty-three percent of the respondents with credit cards are between the age of 25 and 45.
The online poll of 107 budget conscious consumers was conducted by American Consumer Credit Counseling on the organization’s website, http://www.consumercredit.com.