Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Good Life (On Credit), Staggering Stats

  • There are over 1.3 billion credit cards in circulation in America.
  • The total American consumer debt is more than 2.7 trillion.
  • The credit card industry takes in $43 billion per year in additional, unexpected fees from the consumer, such as late payment, over-the-limit, and balance transfer fees. Late fees alone bring in more than $11 billion.
  • The average household credit card debt has increased approximately 167% in the past 17 years.
  • It would take over 13 years to pay off the average credit card balance if only making minimum monthly payments of 4% at an average interest rate of 15%.

My son, if you have put up security for your neighbor,
if you have struck hands in pledge for another,
if you have been trapped by what you said,
ensnared by the words of your mouth,
then do this, my son, to free yourself,
since you have fallen into your neighbor's hands:
Go and humble yourself;
press your plea with your neighbor!
Allow no sleep to your eyes,
no slumber to your eyelids.
Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
like a bird from the snare of the fowler.
(Proverbs 6:1-5, New International Version)
The stats come from FPU participants manual.


Joey said...

Pat, I haven't been commenting much on the FPU and ongoing economic posts, but I just wanted to say I've really been enjoying them! We're very close to not having consumer debt, but we also just bought a home. It can be very easy to justify holding off on paying off the consumer debt for immediate home improvements, vacations, etc. Your posts have been great food for thought for me.

ron said...

This is so good. Thank you brother for being honest and compelling, and a great witness to biblical teaching on money.