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Home / Credit Cards / A Bright Spot In Our Credit Crazed Country


Lower Credit Card Balances Among Young AdultsNot so long ago we were all talking about the implosion of the housing market, foreclosures, repossession, and delinquent credit card accounts on a nonstop basis. All reached historic highs at some point between 2008 and 2011. Push ahead to 2012 and consumers began to use there credit cards for monthly expenses again. It seems as many have forgotten the lessons that should have been learned just a few years earlier. Despite the signs of blissful ignorance, there is one bright spot in recent financial data.

Under 24 And Learning

In 2010, 49 percent of adults under the age of 24 had a credit card with a balance. Recent figures show that in 2012, within the same age group, only 39 percent held a credit card. On top of the lower number of cardholders, the average balance was lower. Their average balance dropped from $2,500 to $1,600.

Granted, the CARD Act of 2009 made it more difficult to acquire a credit card, especially for young college students, but the lower average balance shows a distinct move toward better control of revolving credit debt.


There is always a downside to everything. With fewer people acquiring a credit card there are more young adults who do not have a credit history. That means it will be more difficult to obtain that first car loan or a mortgage. Where do these young adults need to turn to build that credit history? Credit cards. It all comes back to a need to continually teach responsible usage of debt.

What is the bright spot, then? The lower average credit card balance within the age group. Perhaps it is a sign that a generation of more financially responsible adults is moving into the mainstream of the workforce. Now to see how they deal with the dwindling prospects of the middle-class and the growing preponderance of low paying, part-time jobs.


About the author: Jerry Coffey


Jerry Coffey spent many years in a debt-riddled gray area somewhere between broke and desperately broke. His seemingly endless need for more and more cash led him to payday loans, repossessions, bankruptcy, and depression. After years of the same financial style, he heard a piece of advice that inspired him to find a way to change. The advice: ''The very definition of a fool is someone who continues to do the same things, but expects different results.'' This led him to a much more frugal lifestyle that sees all of his bills paid on time and a growing savings account. Even the seed of a retirement account has begun to sprout.


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