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Seventeen percent said they had only one card and the same number of people carry two credit cards.A good chunk of people say they have no credit cards at all (31 percent).Susan Keating, president and CEO of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling goes one step further.After looking over the Bankrate poll results, Keating wonders whether Americans are being honest with themselves.An awful lot of Americans feel lousy about the way they’re handling credit card debt, say the results of a Bankrate commissioned survey.Twenty-five percent worry about how they are going to pay their credit card bills each month and 28 percent feel guilty about how much money they are putting on their cards.
And thanks to something known as universal default, if you make a late payment on one credit card and it’s recorded in your credit report, your other card companies may raise your rates as well. The sample was weighted by demographic factors including age, gender, race, education and census region to ensure reliable and accurate representation of adults in U.
And, more than half of the people with credit cards say they pay their balances in full each month.
Interestingly, about the same number of people who said they didn’t feel guilty or worry about credit card debt, also said they try to follow a strict budget each month (76 percent). Probably not, says Greg Mc Bride, senior financial analyst at
“But these days even people with higher incomes can’t afford the kind of credit card debt they’re carrying.” While 55 percent of people surveyed said they pay off their credit card balances each month, another 9 percent say they make only the minimum payment and, scarily, 3 percent say they sometimes cannot make the minimum.
That means that close to half of Americans are paying interest to the credit card companies and may be making purchases that they can’t always afford, says Manning.
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Too many cards can be a problem if you don’t use them properly, says Jean Chatzky, personal finance expert and author of “Make Money, Not Excuses.” “You might be tempted to charge on all of them, and go over what you can really afford,” she says.