All we can say to the reports that Americans appear to be regaining control of their previously out-of-control credit card spending habits is…no…way. Way! It’s crazy but true. Apparently the recession is a better financial education than everything else put together. Thanks, Mr. President. Without you, we’d still be spending money we didn’t have and wondering how we were going to pay the bill later? Wait a second – that strategy is still being used by someone, somewhere. We just…just…can’t…quite…remember…who.
Get back to you on that one.
But for the good news, Consumer Reports brings us amazing news that the percentage of people carrying more than $10,000 in credit card debt shrunk from 30% last year to 23% today. The median balance is also down by $1,100 over the same time period. It’s official. We’re using our cards less and even reducing debt loads. These are significant numbers that might even be said to reflect a basic change in attitude toward the plastic devil cards. The woefully inadequate financial education in public schools insures that younger Americans will leave high school and college with not even a smidgin of common sense related to how freaking fast a credit card will eat your lunch and leave you wondering what the heck just happened.
Why the sudden restraint among credit card users? Well, we could point to new regulations that force parents to co-sign for card holders younger than 21, or how the terms of payback must be spelled out more explicitly than before. All that is poppycock. People are people. No smarter or dumber. The truth is a healthy dose of fear did it. We’ve got no sense that this recession thing is going to end anyone time soon and self-preservation mode just kicked on. Nothing says financial education like kick in the proverbial teeth.
The Young Wealth Team
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