Who says debt is a boring topic to read about? It shouldn’t be considering how many Americans are in debt. The growing trend in personal debt is staggering. So gathered below are 12 interesting facts and statistics about debt and credit that will make you think about your finances.
- Late library fines and unpaid parking tickets can hurt your credit score.
- In 2006, the credit card industry took in $55 billion in credit card fees and $90 billion in finance charges. Makes you want to pay your credit card bills on time.
- National debt of countries In order of debt:
- United States 10 Trillion
- United Kingdom 8 Trillion
- Germany 4 Trillion
- France 3 Trillion
- Italy 2 Trillion
- U.S. consumers racked up an estimated $51 billion worth of fast food on their personal credit and debit cards. That is equal to 10.2 Billion Big Mac meals, 3 billion pounds of fries and 1.7 billion gallons of coke.
- At least one in 10 consumers has more than 10 credit cards in their wallets. That’s equal to 304 tons of plastic or 61 Elephants.
- 51 percent of the US population has at least two credit cards. That’s 305,000,000 plastic cards which would span 16,223 miles, 65% around the world. You could create a wide enough path to walk over the Atlantic Ocean.
- It took the city of Montreal 30 years to pay off its Olympic debt of $2 billion, held in 1976!
- A $1,000 charge on an average credit card will take almost 22 years to pay, and will cost more than $2,300 in interest ($3,300 total) — if only 2 percent minimum payments are made.
- All though the first credit cards were merchant specific cards starting in 1900 with several hotels, the first true credit card was invented in 1950 by Ralph Schneider and Frank X. McNamara. The Diners Club charged participating restaurants 7% interest on each purchase and charged a $3 fee a year to the card holder. This was the first card that could be used at different locations. Chase and Bank of America (Visa) came out with their first credit cards in 1958. They became most popular when the magnetic strip became available in 1970.
- U.S. Visa cardholders alone conduct more than $1 trillion in annual volume.
- Closing a credit card account in full will have a negative affect on your credit score. Length of history on an account is 15% of your FICO score.
- Average Household Credit Card Debt is $8,400.00
Sources: Bankrate.com, FTC.gov, fool.com and other various credit card company websites.
This article is the first of many in a series of Interesting Money Articles posted weekly in our Interesting Money Section.