If you’re carrying a balance on a credit card, do you know how much you’re paying in interest? Here’s a hint: It’s a lot more than last year. The Federal Reserve’s effort to curb inflation by raising interest rates is hitting credit card holders in a big way. We’ll talk with Neile Simon about that on this Faith and Finance.
Neile Simon is a Certified Credit Counselor with Christian Credit Counselors, an underwriter of this program.
- The average APR for all credit card accounts in the first quarter of 2023 was just over 20%. That’s a 4-point increase in the last 6 months. That’s the biggest increase since the Fed began tracking credit card interest rates nearly 30 years ago.
- So, given the current economic outlook and interest rate environment, it’s more important than ever to save money by paying down high-interest debt.
- HOW CAN PEOPLE NOW CARRYING A BALANCE GET STARTED?
- Get informed. Look at your monthly statements and find out what your current interest rates are. Many people are not aware of the increases if they have their accounts on autopay.
- Then you need to make a budget to determine how much disposable income your family has. You have to spend less than you make and be intentional with your spending. The more extras you cut out, the more you have to pay down your credit card balance.
- You have a better chance of doing that if you get everyone in the family on board by opening up lines of communication, setting family goals, and working together to achieve them.
- WHAT ARE THE SIGNS THE CREDIT CARDS ARE OUT OF CONTROL?
- - Trouble making minimum payments
- - More than $4,000 in cc debt
- - Can’t seem to resist using the card
- HOW CCC CAN HELP
- When you contact Christian Credit Counselors, they help you to:
- - Help set up a budget
- - Create a God-honoring and ethical debt management plan
- - Lower your interest rates
- - Pay off your debt up to 80% faster
- To learn more visit ChrstianCreditCounselors.org.
On this program, Rob also answers listener questions:
- How can a 9-year-old go about investing her first $100?
- Are universal life insurance policies a wise investment?
- What are the rules about withdrawing the assets of an elderly parent on Medicaid?
- What is the best way to build a positive credit history?
Remember, you can call in to ask your questions most days at (800) 525-7000. Also, visit our website at FaithFi.com where you can join the FaithFi Community, and give as we expand our outreach.