April 22 2010|06.53 AM UTC

Stan Reybern

Demystifying Credit Cards and Consumer Debt

Category: Credit, Personal FinanceTags: , ,


Most adults carry credit cards, but many are still not sure what the new CARD Act does to protect them — and what it does not do. Many carry high balances on more than one card and have relied on credit during the recession, driving the balances even higher. Those who have missed payments and damaged their credit during the hard times will find it even harder to pay back the money owed, as people with bad credit are charged significantly higher interest rates. Here is a visual look at the credit card situation in America, which when paired with the poor economy and high unemployment rate, has arguably reached the crisis level.

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Demystifying Credit Cards and Consumer Debt

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris Swift April 22, 2010 at 4:59 pm

On the second chart – the one about number of cards in circulation. It seems as though the total number for the different kinds adds up to over a billion cards. Seeing as though the population of the US is about 300 million, that would come to over three credit cards for every man, woman, and child in the country. But if we figure that about 50% of the population is over 20 years old (very rough estimate), we’re left with only 150 million people – meaning that each and every adult in the US would have about 7 cards each. What am I doing wrong here? That seems preposterously high.

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Zex April 22, 2010 at 10:50 pm

FTA: Companies…have already diluted the value of loyalty reward programs.

Yeah I noticed. I’m in the market for a new card, but since all credit card companies did this, it’s harder to find a decent rewards program now.

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