Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pr 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.

I have been praying about starting a non-profit credit counseling service through our church. I wonder if people would take advantage of it or continue to pretend they don't have a problem. After having taught Personal Finance classes for three different Christian colleges. God has given me a measure of insight about finance issues and I believe He wants me to use it for His glory to help people.

It's hard to believe you're not alone when you feel overwhelmed by debt. But the truth is consumer debt touches almost all American families in some way. Take a look at the figures below.
· In the last decade, the average US household consumer debt (non-mortgage) has increased from approximately $8,500 to $14,500. (Federal Reserve Statistical Releases and U.S. Census Bureau)
· Credit card debt now averages $8,562 per household.
· The average American family is paying about $1,100 a year in interest on credit cards.
· Interest rates on bank credit cards have widened as a result of the eleven rate cuts by the Feds. Card rates, after the introductory periods, now range from 4.75% to 35.00%, the widest spread ever.
· According to an analysis by Sallie Mae, which provides federal and private education loans for undergraduate and graduate students and families, 13% of college students owe between $3,000 and $7,000 on their credit cards.
· 83% of undergraduate college students have credit cards, a 24% increase since 1998.
· The percentage of college students with four or more credit cards has doubled in the last three years to 47% .
· Among the 60% of American cardholders who do not pay off their credit card balance each month, nearly half made just the minimum payment. This means that about one out of four cardholders in the USA now make minimum payments. (
· Credit card fees, paid by consumers, represents the fastest-growing source of revenue for bank-card issuers, according to Credit Card Management, a trade publication.
· Late-payment revenues, which have risen from $1.7 billion in 1996 to $7.3 billion, are the third-biggest revenue source for credit card companies, behind interest income and fees paid by merchants who accept credit card payments.
· Many credit card companies charge as much as $35 for a late payment. And the larger your balance, the higher your late fee.
· According to an informal CardWeb poll, six in 10 credit card holders say they've been hit with a late fee over the past year.
· The average American household holds 14.27 credit cards.


Heidi said...

Sounds like a great idea. If I lived in the area, I would most definatly attend.