When our economy crashed, it was like watching a slow moving train travel from one end to the other, as it affected people over and over. We watched as some lost their jobs, others their houses and less important was the credit we suffered over. Some through up their hands and walked away. Others dug deep and refused to give up. Not one of us came out of the storm unscathed and as time has gone on, we have discovered that we are a strong people and we learned.
Our credit card debt was deep when the crash happened, and lessons were learned the hard way. High rates were over the top and drowning the consumer. Between some governmental involvement and self-education, we discovered that many cards are a bad thing and keeping them paid helped keep our budgets in line.
Trans Union reports that people are keeping their delinquencies low, as well as their debt. The average credit borrower of last year was $4,971 and compared to this year, it has declined to $4,965 with an increase in credit being acquired. One can only hope that we have learned our lesson and have discovered ways of keeping the debt down and paid.
With the new debt comes the smarter consumer logging hours to find lower interest rates, and in the long run saving them money. Trans Union associates less than stellar credit with 27.3 percent in interest rates versus the 27.4 percent of last year. That still leaves our shoppers at a forty five percent share of the cards being in the non-prime area and even though it’s low our credit card processing continues.
On a very positive note, payments to the credit card companies are at .57 percent for overdue payments of 90 days or more. Consumers are making a point to get the payments made, unless something tragic has occurred in their household. That means less late fees and less interest on their purchases. Overall, that also relates to more income staying in the home, even if it’s over a long period.
Country wide our credit card debt dropped $2.7 million in June. Not a great thing for the credit card processors or the credit card companies. But an overall victory for struggling America. According to our Federal Reserve, we remain 16.5 percent below the peak of 2008. Way to go America.
All in all, maybe the crash wasn’t a bad thing. Certainly it caused many destructive circumstances and many things happened that we just will never forget. But, if we look back at it in a positive way, what did we learn? Don’t over extend yourself. Don’t shop with a high interest rate. If you can’t pay it off by the end of the month, don’t buy it. Just because the neighbor has it, doesn’t mean you need it too. Step back and realize that this slap in the face with credit cards, and the economy, might very well have saved us from a worse destruction.