Consumer behavior toward credit card usage is changing, but the attitudes are somewhat mixed.
It’s no secret that credit card debt in America is out of control. But how did we get here?
It all started with Frank McNamara forgetting his wallet at a business lunch — and later inventing the Diner’s Club Card. Not long after, smaller banking institutions began adopting the idea of issuing cards to its loan customers.
In 1955, the first patent containing the words “credit card” was born. By the ’70s, credit card usage was in full swing and most households had one or more. And today? The average household is over $16,000 in credit card debt, and attitudes toward credit cards are changing. Here’s what people are saying on Twitter…
Blame it on education, or not
Although financial literacy is something America continues to struggle with, the Internet changed things. It’s no coincidence that younger Gen Xers and millennials are much wiser about credit card usage. In a recent analysis, Debt.com revealed that over 52.4 percent of millennials pay off their credit card balances in full each month. In general, only 35 percent of Americans are doing that.
When you pay off one of your credit cards. #Millennial#AdultGoals pic.twitter.com/H1biRSwlE3
— Michelle Watson (@chellyNwelly) February 10, 2018Advertisement
Women aren’t falling for it
According to a report from Experian, women have higher credit scores, less debt, and fewer late payments than men.
This doesn’t mean women don’t like credit cards. The study also revealed that over 23 percent of women have more than one card. What’s interesting is that women weren’t guaranteed the right to a credit card until the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was signed in 1974.
It’s #InternationalWomensDay. There was a time not long ago that women couldn’t vote, or open credit cards without their husband’s signature, or compete in the Olympics, or do their jobs without being harassed. That time is up. #TimesUp
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 8, 2018
Money talks and credit cards walk
Until recently, the more credit cards you had, the richer you looked. But nowadays having too many credit cards may indicate a spending problem — or worse, a whole lot of debt. Experts at Debt.com found that 37 percent of Americans said credit card debt will make them look down on a significant other.
Many people use their credit cards and spend with careless abandon. Dr. John Macarthur says a credit card enables you to buy things you don’t need with money you don’t have from people you don’t know in order to impress people you don’t like.
— franciskong (@franciskong) March 7, 2018
Is it all just a game?
Credit cards aren’t inherently bad, and you can get them to work for you. One of the easiest ways to establish good credit is by opening a credit card and making on-time, in-full payments. However, nowhere in a credit card application do they tell you this — because they would prefer that you pay the interest. It’s also possible to boost your credit score without opening a credit card.
When it comes to credit cards that offer rewards, it gets even better for the consumer who is playing by the rules. Nowadays, if people are going to open a new credit card, they want to get something out of it.
Adulting is handing a cashier your debit card then grabbing your credit card and saying “Hold on. Use this one instead. It has good rewards.”
— Sierra Hatch (@dhsHatch) March 2, 2018
Do you want to outsmart your credit card? Make sure to visit our Education Center for tool and tips. Do you think you’re smarter than your credit card? Tell us how by dropping us a tweet @debtcom.
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Article last modified on March 15, 2018. Published by Debt.com, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Have Americans Outsmarted Credit Cards? - AMP.