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Credit card debt decreases compared to 2011

April 2, 2012

U.S consumers are carrying less credit card debt than at the same time last year, according to consumer advocacy organization CreditKarma.com. As of February 2012, the average U.S. consumer with at least one credit card owed $6,105 in credit card debt, down 15 percent from February 2011.
How does your use of credit [...]

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6 tips for finding credit counseling

February 24, 2012

Although they exist to help you, credit counseling services, debt settlement companies and bankruptcy lawyers compete for your business. In general, seeking the assistance of a certified credit counseling organization is a good place to start if you’re in trouble with credit card debt. Credit counseling services typically review your finances, your credit card debt and [...]

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2 potential risks of debt consolidation

January 25, 2012

Debt consolidation loans, credit card balance transfers and home loans can streamline debt management and help you save on finance charges. But credit card debt consolidation is not an ultimate solution for carrying consumer debt, and can complicate financial matters if you don’t consider possible risks.
Debt consolidation risks depend on circumstances
Debt consolidation can offer [...]

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“Occupy” movement inspires consumers to ditch big banks

November 3, 2011

Consumer outrage over monthly service fees for using debit cards is causing many to jump ship to smaller financial institutions free of fees. The Occupy Wall Street protests and bank consumers’ ire are sending a message to financial institutions concerned with expanding profits at the expense of their struggling customers.  The NBC affiliate in San Diego reports that [...]

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Federal Reserve: U.S. households reducing consumer debt

September 26, 2011

The Federal Reserve reports that U.S. household debt fell from 116 percent of disposable in the first quarter of 2011 to 114.6 percent of disposable income in the second quarter. This is good news in terms of U.S. household reducing their debt, but Reuters notes that debt levels above 100 percent of disposable household income [...]

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Credit card debt: Americans exchanging spending for saving

August 28, 2011

Way to go, American consumers! The Huffington Post reports that U.S. consumers owe about $4700 in credit card debt, about  19 percent less credit card debt than they did before the recession started. TransUnion, one of three major U.S. credit reporting bureaus, notes that overall consumer debt including mortgage and home equity loans is down by about 16 [...]

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Consumer spending forecasts dampened by consumer debt

August 3, 2011

With the government’s debt debacle solved, and mixed financial news on the stock markets (bad) and jobs (uncertain job growth), it’s time for some good news. A prominent U.S. consumer spending forecaster suggests that consumer spending is rising.
Bloomberg reports that financial forecaster Richard DeKaser expects increased consumer spending during the second quarter of 2011. Citing lower [...]

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Credit card debt: addressing the real causes

July 23, 2011

Running up debt, paying it off, and incurring more debt suggests a pattern of compulsive spending and sabotaging your debt management plans.  Anju D. Jessani, MBA an accredited professional divorce mediator, notes that dysfunctional behaviors relating to money range from hoarding money to compulsive spending. These behaviors create problems such as denying basic needs, obsessing [...]

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Debt relief and the stages of grief: Here’s the connection

July 22, 2011

Author and economic commentator Charles Hugh Smith blogs for the Business Insider about the federal debt situation and its connection to Elizabeth Kubler Ross’ stages of working through loss. The Kubler Ross stages also fit consumer attitudes and reaction toward out-of-control credit card debt:
Denial: Never mind the creditors calling at all hours, and that you [...]

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Fed reports rising consumer borrowing, debt

July 11, 2011

The Federal Reserve reports that U.S. consumer credit rose in May by $5.08 billion, the eighth consecutive increase, significantly outstripping economists estimates of $3 billion. During the same month Credit card debt rose by $3.36 billion, to a total of $793.13 billion.
This news is a double-edged sword.  Increased consumer borrowing suggests that lenders are expanding consumer lending, and consumers [...]

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