Consumers Hold Steady on Credit Card Borrowing in Early 2019

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Bills.com® cautions that savings, borrowing rates put financial health at risk

The Bills.com resource site provides simple tips, advice and tools to help consumers make smart financial decisions. Bills.com is part of the Freedom Financial Network®, a family of companies whose products and services provide innovative  solutions that empower people to live healthier financial lives.

Bills.com

Debt levels are at an all-time high. People need to track their debts and the interest they pay, while simultaneously making a habit of building savings for emergencies, retirement and investments.

Total consumer credit rose to $4.034 trillion in January, but consumers appear to remain cautious with two consecutive months of slower credit card borrowing through the holidays and New Year, according to Daniel Cohen, managing editor of Bills.com®, a resource providing simple tips, advice and tools to help consumers make smart financial decisions.

Revolving credit – primarily credit card debt – rose 3 percent in January, after increasing just 1.1 percent in December and 5.5 percent in November, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest consumer credit release. Non-revolving credit rose 6 percent in January – a pace that held fairly steady through the fourth quarter of 2018, with rates of 6.6 percent in November and 5.9 percent in December. Non-revolving debt includes outstanding credit for items such as vehicles, education and unsecured installment loans. The consumer debt data does not include home mortgages or home equity borrowing.

“We’re seeing a continuing trend of only a modest increase in revolving and non-revolving debt, which indicates that consumers may have started the New Year by keeping their resolutions to spend responsibly,” says Cohen. “With debt still increasing, however, individuals should continue to work to live within their means and build a savings cushion with an emergency fund.”

Cohen notes that the personal savings rate hovers around 6 percent. “Building savings is good, but debt levels are at an all-time high, even if rising modestly,” he says. “People need to track their debts and the interest they pay, while simultaneously making a habit of building savings for emergencies, retirement and investments.”

“It is vital to look at the complete picture to understand your financial outlook,” Cohen says. “That’s why Bills.com works hard to educate consumers about the relationship between spending, saving, borrowing and planning, and why we offer individuals a way to measure their financial health. Understanding current financial strengths and weaknesses is key to making smart money choices and establishing the habits that build good financial health.”

Bills.com (http://www.bills.com)
Bills.com is part of the Freedom Financial Network®, a family of companies whose products and services provide innovative solutions that empower people to live healthier financial lives. The Bills.com resource site provides simple tips, advice and tools – including the Bills.com debt payoff calculator – to help consumers make smart financial decisions.

Headquartered in San Mateo, California, Freedom Financial Network also operates an office in Tempe, Arizona, and employs more than 2,200. The company has been voted one of the best places to work in both the San Francisco Bay area and the Phoenix area for several years.

For more information, contact Daniel Cohen at dcohen(at)bills(dot)com or 650-393-6356, or Aimee Bennett at aimee(at)faganbusinesscommuniations(dot)com or 303-843-9840.

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Daniel Cohen

Aimee Bennett
Fagan Business Communications
303-843-9840
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