A New Horizon Credit Counseling Reports Increasing Client Enrollments Due To Higher Interest Rates and New Credit Card Charges.

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Average APR for New Credit Cards Jumps to 14.9%

A New Horizon Credit Counseling 1-800-556-1548

A New Horizon Credit Counseling 1-800-556-1548

“Many of our clients come to us after finding themselves in over their heads with mounting interest rates and fees,” says Stark.

A new report by CreditCards.com has found that the average APR for new credit card offers shot up to 14.9% this week – a number just short of the record high recorded by the website since it began tracking this information. The number represents a steady climb from the average APR of 14.74% reported just six months ago by CreditCards.com. Nonprofit debt management organizations, such as A New Horizon Credit Counseling, report an influx of clients feeling the pressure of their inflating credit card payments.

Steven Stark, Chief Operating Officer of A New Horizon, noted that the rate increase has come at a time when many banks are considering new fees on debit cards. Wells Fargo, the latest bank to ponder “swipe fees” for its debit cards, announced that it may implement a monthly fee of $3 for any client who uses his or her debit card for purchases. New bank fees, combined with low average interest rates offered on savings and checking accounts, have spurred many consumers to obtain additional lines of credit.

“Many of our clients come to us after finding themselves in over their heads with mounting interest rates and fees,” says Stark. With such high interest rates and comparatively low minimum monthly payments, experts note that consumers can find themselves buried in credit card debt very quickly. Stark explained his organization helps its clients reduce their interest rates, often by significant percentages, by working directly with creditors. “Our typical client comes to us with a few credit cards burdened with high interest rates, often above 20%. He or she may have been late with one or two payments but is generally current – just perhaps financially stretched to the limit,” says Stark. “We’re often able to help them get their rates reduced.”

Industry experts predict that interest rates may continue to climb slowly. According to the report by CreditCards.com, the highest average introductory rates are for those cards offered to consumers with poor credit. Rates for such cards averaged an introductory APR of nearly 25% in August.

A New Horizon Credit Counseling Services is a nonprofit credit counseling organization that has been helping consumers since 1978. For more information about their programs, contact 1-800-556-1548. They can also be found on the web at http://www.anewhorizon.org, or reached via email at slieberman(at)anewhorizon(dot)org


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Stuart Lieberman
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