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Brian O’Connor / Detroit News Finance Editor
The new rules on credit card statements kicked in only a few months ago, but they’re already giving credit card holders a push toward getting debts under control.
New disclosure rules require credit card statements to show how long it takes to pay off the card’s balance by making only the minimum payment each month, and how much the monthly payment should be to clear the debt down to $0 in the next 36 months. Statements also have to carry a toll-free number to help cardholders find certified debt counseling if they feel they need help with their finances.
An April online survey from the nonprofit National Foundation for Credit Counseling found that the new disclosures are prompting consumers to either pay down their card balances faster or to seek counseling to deal with the debt.
DID YOU KNOW:
<strong> Debt by the numbers</strong>
* Average card debt per household with credit cards: $16,007
* Total credit cards in circulation in the U.S: 576.4 million
* Average number of credit cards held by cardholders: 3.5
* Average annual percentage rate (APR) on new card offers: 14.45%
* Average APR on credit card with a
balance on it: 14.31%
* Total U.S. revolving debt (98% from credit cards): $864.4 billion