Did you know?

November 6, 2006 at 4:23 pm Leave a comment

This is the first of my new Monday series called Did you know?. This week, to kick off the series, we’ll be dealing with credit cards. So let’s get started.

Did you know?
1. The average American family has 8 credit cards.
2. Nearly 144 million Americans have general-purpose credit cards*, but only 55 million pay off their cards in full each month.
3. 35 million Americans pay only the minimum payment required each month.
4. The credit industry’s jargon for someone who pays his or her bill in full every month is “a deadbeat.”
5. The average American family carries a credit card debt of roughly $8,000.
6. A credit card company must give its customers 15 days notice when changing the terms of the cardholder contract.
7. The credit card issuer can raise your APR automatically for any of the following reasons:
– You went over your credit limit on another card
– You failed to make a payment to another creditor
– You applied for and received a loan.
8. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, part of the U.S. Treasury Department, regulates the national banks which issue most of the credit cards in the U.S. (banks such as Chase, MBNA and Citibank).
9. If your credit card is stolen – or if your card number is stolen – and used by a thief to charge purchases, you are only obligated to pay the card issuer a maximum of $50.00.
10. A high FICO score indicates that the individual is likely to pay their bills.
11. There are no legal limits on the amount of interest and fees that banks can charge for a credit card because two U.S. Supreme Court decisions permit banks to charge what the market will bear.

*General-purpose credit cards include Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.

Frontline – Secret History of the Credit Card


Entry filed under: Credit Cards, Did you know?.

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