Credit Card Debt Down
Are we finally getting the message? I’m not sure I’d go out on that limb, but yesterday the Federal Reserve reported that credit card debt went down 9.7% from February, which, in essence, means people are either paying their bills, not spending anew, or have learned how to transfer debt to lower interest rate cards, which at least gives an initial bounce to the statistics. Anyway, this is the fastest rate of decline since 1976; good job, folks!
Well, there is one more caveat to throw in here that may not be as positive. What also counts are the amounts credit card companies write off as bad debt uncollectibles, which could mean more people will be receiving calls from collection agencies in their future looking for some back end cash. I bring this up because another report stated that these write offs hit 5.56% in the fourth quarter of 2008, the highest in the 18 years the Fed has been tracking them, and up from 4.54% a year earlier.
I’ve been doing what I can to hold the line on credit card spending, but haven’t totally eliminated it. Still, as more and more people are being cautious with these purchases, and probably spending less without buying less (this is the type of economy that leads people to look for deals and to start buying more generic food items), the overall debt is coming down.
That’s always a good thing.