Demand for Credit Cards Increases as Consumer Confidence Rises with Stronger U.S. Economy

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National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling explains how a rise in consumer confidence is leading to more consumer credit and debt challenges

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Due to the stronger economy and a rise in consumer confidence, the number of credit card payment delinquencies are increasing among some consumers

As the job market continues to improve and unemployment rates decline (4.6 percent), consumer confidence is rising – leading lenders to extend more credit and increasing the demand for credit cards. Although increased consumer spending indicates a strong economy, many consumers are struggling when it comes to paying off their debt.

“Due to the stronger economy and a rise in consumer confidence, the number of credit card payment delinquencies are increasing among some consumers,” said Steve Trumble, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling, which is based in Newton, MA. “More consumers are applying and receiving credit cards. Among them there are a large percentage of consumers with relatively poor credit scores. It is more important than ever that consumers create and stick to a budget to keep their debt at a manageable level.”

According to BloombergMarkets, consumer confidence in November increased to its highest levels – 107.1 from forecast of 101.5 – since July 2007. This has spurred an increased demand for credit cards, and the majority of new accounts are from subprime borrowers who have a credit score of 660 or less. At the same time, there has been an uptick in credit card delinquencies. According to the ABA’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin, credit card delinquencies increased to 2.74 percent in the third quarter of last year. Auto loan delinquencies also rose slightly.

Credit counseling and debt management services are available to consumers struggling under mounting debts and having trouble making their monthly payments. American Consumer Credit Counseling explains what consumers should know about debt management counseling services (http://www.consumercredit.com/our-services/debt-management-program/debt-management-program-benefits.aspx) and how these programs help individuals develop a management plan to eliminate debt:

1. Make the process more manageable – Consumers can combine all their creditor payments into one monthly amount to be disbursed directly to the creditors on the consumer’s behalf.
2. Increase access to counseling services – members of debt management counseling services have access to up-to-date information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
3. Lower payments – The services help consumers work with their creditors to get lower monthly payments and reduced interest charges.
4. Get out of debt faster – Counselors work with consumers to design a program that will suit each consumer’s specific financial needs. The length of the program is determined by the total amount of debt and specific creditors.

ACCC is a 501(c)3 organization that provides free credit counseling, bankruptcy counseling, and housing counseling to consumers nationwide in need of financial literacy education and money management. For more information, contact ACCC:

  • For credit counseling, call 800-769-3571
  • For bankruptcy counseling, call 866-826-6924
  • For housing counseling, call 866-826-7180
  • Or visit us online at ConsumerCredit.com

About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling and financial education concerning debt solutions. In order to help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx

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Marissa Sullivan
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