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Credit Card Statistics



Payment trends

  • About 6 percent of consumers have used a prepaid card in the past months. About 9 percent have used one in the past year. (Source: "The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice," Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, January 2010)
  • About 69 percent of consumers have used a credit card in the last month. About 73 percent have used one in the past year. (Source: "The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice," Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, January 2010)
  • About 56 percent of consumers carried an unpaid balance in the past 12 months. (Source: "The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice," Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, January 2010)
  • About 45 percent of consumers said their unpaid credit card balance had gotten "lower" or "much lower" in the past 12 months. Only 26 percent said it had gotten "higher" or "much higher." (Source: "The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice," Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, January 2010)
  • "More consumers now have debit cards than credit cards, and consumers use debit cards more often than cash, credit cards, or checks individually." (Source: "The Survey of Consumer Payment Choice," Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, January 2010)
  • Nearly one in three Americans -- 29 percent -- said that in some of the past 12 months, they paid only the minimum payment on their credit cards. (Source: "Financial Capability in the United States," FINRA Investor Education Foundation, December 2009)



  • More than half of Americans -- 54 percent -- said that in the past 12 months, they always paid their credit cards in full. (Source: "Financial Capability in the United States," FINRA Investor Education Foundation, December 2009)
  • 41 percent of cardholders from the ages of 18 to 29 made only the minimum required payment on a credit card in some of the past 12 months. (Source: "Financial Capability in the United States," FINRA Investor Education Foundation, December 2009)
  • Three in four cardholders age 60 or older always paid their credit card in full in the past 12 months. (Source: "Financial Capability in the United States," FINRA Investor Education Foundation, December 2009)
  • 26 percent of Americans, or more than 58 million adults, admit to not paying all of their bills on time. Among African-Americans, this number is at 51 percent. (Source: National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 2009 Financial Literacy Survey, April 2009)
  • The average credit card-indebted family in 2004 allocated 21 percent of its income to servicing monthly debt compared to the 13 percent dedicated to debt payments among all households. (Source: Demos.org, "Borrowing To Make Ends Meet," November 2007)
    58 percent of Hispanics have not used a credit card in the past 30 days. (Source: Experian Consumer Research study, November 2008)
  • 31 percent of Hispanics typically pay cash for their purchases. (Source: Experian Consumer Research study, November 2008)
  • When finances are tight, 59 percent of people would pay their credit card bills last. A majority -- 52 percent -- would pay the mortgage first and 38 percent say they would pay for utilities before paying other obligations. (Source: CreditCards.com survey, December 2008)
  • 41 percent of college students have a credit card. Of the students with cards, about 65 percent pay their bills in full every month, which is higher than the general adult population. (Source: Student Monitor annual financial services study, 2008)
  • 27 percent of U.S. families had no credit cards in 2007. (Source: Federal Reserve Board Survey of Consumer Finances, February 2009)
  • One in six families with credit cards pays only the minimum due every month. (Source: Experian national score index study, February 2007)
  • Of every $100 spent by consumers, nearly $40 is in a form other than cash or check. (Source: Visa USA internal statistics, 4th quarter 2006)
  • 28 percent of those surveyed say their ability to pay off their credit card balance has become more difficult. (Source: Javelin Strategy & Research, "Credit Card Issuer Profitability in a Difficult Economy," July 2008)

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