Need signs that credit card companies are getting more aggressive with their credit card tactics and tricks? Well, there’s 346 million reasons from one particular credit card purveyor, Citigroup.
Based on a new report from The Wall Street Journal, in the third quarter alone, the bank mailed more than 346 million credit card offers to unwitting customers. Keep in mind, that’s more than the approximately 308 million people in the U.S, according to the Census Bureau.
Despite this high volume of consumer credit offers, according to the financial experts at Bloomberg, revolving credit usage, which includes credit cards, dropped the most in six months in July. This means that many of you may be watching the budget-busting bait, but reluctant to take it.
One reason for the reticence to take on consumer debt may be lessons learned from the recent recession, i.e., more saving, less spending. According to a recent article from The Washington Post, the Commerce Department reported that personal savings rate reached 5 percent in July 2011, compared with slightly more than 1 percent before the recession.
But according to The Huffington Post, consumers aren’t out of the woods yet. “Consumers may also be hesitant about ratcheting up their debt as they see the economy headed for more slow growth. Americans' expectations of the economy fell in September to their lowest levels since May 1980, according to the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment. Still, credit card use is growing from depressed 2009 and early 2010 levels, according to Digital Transactions. Credit card volume grew more than 7 percent from April 2010 to 2011, the site reports, but the country has 120 million fewer credit cards than it did in early 2009, the site reports.”
It’s easy enough to lose sight of how much you’re spending on a credit card when you’re receiving endless offers that may be too good to be true. And given the fact that consumer credit had, in many ways, dried up in the year’s since the recession, there’s an even greater tendency to spend more than you should.
To avoid the pitfalls and pratfalls of the consumer credit conundrum, it’s vital to remain diligent when using credit, acknowledging the reasons you’re buying an item in the first place. If you’re using a recession era mindset, focusing on “need,” instead of “want,” paired with the ability to spend each month within your means such that the balance is paid down before interest accrues, then rewards do come from using these cards. But, be realistic: not only do card companies make more money off your balances than they lose from lending you via so-called “limited time, low-interest” offers, but also buying just to receive these rewards means spending for spending’s sake—a no-no in the new economy.
In the end, the best offer you can make for yourself is avoiding debt in the first place.
If you are wondering how to reduce your debt—credit, debit or otherwise—and get back on track, knowing a qualified bankruptcy attorney can also help you to conquer your creditors and face your financial fears, yielding the right kinds of support, information and insights—at a low cost— for a viable and secure future beyond all of the ill-promised plastic “rewards.” The bankruptcy attorneys at the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt offer a totally FREE debt consultation and now, more than ever, it’s time to take them up on their offer. Just call toll free to 1-888-234-4181, or during the off hours, you can make your own appointment right online at www.billsbills.com. Simply click on the yellow “FREE Consultation Now” button.