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Brief Analysis of Credit Card Spending Over the 2010-2011 Holiday Season

At the beginning of March 2011, Experian released interesting data regarding credit card spending over the 2010-2011 holiday season. Though the average debt on credit cards decreased by 4% compared with December of 2009, Americans still carried an average of $4,284 on credit cards in December of 2010.

Statistics presented by Experian, the Federal Reserve and others tell conflicting stories. The rebounding economy led some consumers to spend more over the holidays, but others turned to credit cards to cover expenses during this season. Holiday spending appears to have been higher than in the last several years, but more recent data has shown less consumption thus far this year. Some people were able to pay down debt and others, due to job loss, medical expenses or other unforeseen events, had to turn to credit cards to make it through.

According to the most recent consumer credit report from the Federal Reserve, revolving credit (primarily credit card debt) increased by 3.5% in December. This was the first increase of this kind in more than 2 years. The difference between this report and the data reported by Experian was the inclusion of "charge-offs", which is debt that credit card companies consider uncollectible. The Experian report did not include this debt, while the Federal Reserve report did.

First Data, a company that processes credit card transactions, reported that card spending (including debit and credit cards as well as electronic benefit-transfer cards) increased by 6.5% in December as compared to transactions at the same stores in 2009.

According to MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, holiday spending rose 5.5% in the 50 days before Christmas of 2010, as compared to the same time period in 2009.

Credit card debt is one of the main reasons that consumers find themselves mired in debt and considering bankruptcy or other forms of debt relief. For more information on this important topic and to discuss your financial situation with a skilled professional, contact the Long Island bankruptcy firm of Jacoby & Jacoby. The team is highly experienced and ready to help you.

Contact a Long Island bankruptcy lawyer at Jacoby & Jacoby today.


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