As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

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.

Email Email Print Print
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.

Reply to this comment

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.

Reply to this comment

avatar wylerassociate

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.

Reply to this comment

Leave a Comment

Note: Use your name or a unique handle, not the name of a website or business. No deep links or business URLs are allowed. Spam, including promotional linking to a company website, will be deleted. By submitting your comment you are agreeing to these terms and conditions.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.