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New Credit Card Statement Design Means Lower Balances

This article was written by in Debt Reduction. 3 comments.

According to an online poll conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (which exists to encourage you to set up a payment plan, but that doesn’t necessarily make their data suspect), Americans are more likely to pay more toward their credit card debt since their statements were re-designed to show just how awfully long it would take to reach a zero balance if they only paid the minimum.

I was super-excited to see my first re-designed statement a couple months ago, and while I still think it (and we consumers) could benefit more from seeing a graph with thick red lines instead of just a number, it seems to be having a pronounced effect. The NFCC asked the following question on their home page and got what look to be statistically significant results:

Credit card statements now provide a snapshot of how long it would take me to get out of debt if I only paid the minimum amount due each month. This information…

A. Has inspired me to pay more each month = 25%

B. Makes no difference because I’m already paying as much as I can each month = 55%

C. Makes no difference because I already pay my balance in full each month = 7%

D. Made me call the credit counseling agency number listed on my statement = 12%

Note: The NFCC’s April FLOI was conducted via the homepage of the NFCC Web site from April 1-30, 2010 and answered by 2,003 individuals.

Published or updated May 21, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Smithee formerly lived primarily on credit cards and the good will of his friends. He is a newbie to personal finance but quickly learning from his past mistakes. You can follow him on Twitter, where his user name is @SmitheeConsumer. View all articles by .

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Jenna

A. Has inspired me to pay more each month = 25%
D. Made me call the credit counseling agency number listed on my statement = 12%

Very encouraging statistics. Will be interesting to see if over all debt statistics drop in 2010-2011 because of this new statements.

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avatar SavingEverything

Interesting that only 7% of 2003 people who responded to the survey on their website pay in-full. It could just means most people who pay in-full do not normally visit their websitepay. For me, the new monthly credit card statements just makes me wish i was on the designing team; they could use better formatting and placements of information and to save space and more pages of the paper statement.

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avatar wylerassociate ♦162 (Cent)

I love the new credit card statements because now it helps people realize how long it will take to pay off debt. I like the fact that americans are now getting serious about paying down credit card debt.

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