Fallen behind on your credit card payments? You’re not alone. The American Bankers Association’s (ABA) Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin reports that credit card loan delinquencies set a record in the second quarter of 2005, hitting a whopping rate of 4.81 percent of accounts (following on the heels of a rate of 4.76 for the first quarter). And all this was before gasoline prices skyrocketed as a result of Hurricane Katrina…
You might want to stop before you put that new PC purchase on your credit card.
“The last two quarters have not been pretty,” stated ABA chief economist, James Chessen. “Gas prices are taking huge chunks out of wallets, leaving some individuals with little left to meet their financial obligations. With gas prices still rising, the third quarter is not likely to be any better.”
Needless to say, we’re in the midst of a rough patch. To be sure, there’s little chance it will be better in the third and fourth quarter. In all likelihood, it will get substantially worse as we wind our way into the winter heating season.
The ABA advises consumers to review their finances every year. ABA offers the following tips for consumers who might be having trouble paying down their debts.
Warning signs of being overextended on credit:
- Paying only the minimum payment month after month;
- Being out of cash constantly;
- Being late on important payments, such as rent or mortgage;
- Taking longer and longer to pay off balances; and
- Borrowing from one lender to pay another.
Solving debt problems:
- Talk with creditors-hiding only makes the problem worse;
- Don’t charge more purchases until your problems are solved;
- Avoid bankruptcy-it’s a short-term solution with long-term consequences; and
- Contact Consumer Credit Counseling Services at 800-388-2227.
Source: American Bankers Association
Related: What’s the Difference Between Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit?