With the rise of credit card processing centers, consumers have a greater chance of not paying their bills.
Now, a new trend has emerged in the U.S. that could help you avoid the hassle of going to the cash register.
According to research firm CreditCards.com, nearly two-thirds of consumers reported having a “non-payment problem” in the first quarter of 2018, up from about 60% a year ago.
The percentage of Americans who say they do not have a problem with payment is also up significantly, from 24% in the same period last year to 29% this year.
In addition, nearly half of consumers said they have not paid their bill in at least six months, up nearly three percentage points from last year.
That’s according to CreditCords.com.
This is not the first time CreditChips.com has found that people are increasingly avoiding credit cards altogether, but this trend could be the most dramatic.
According the company, non-payment has increased by 50% among those who have a debt-to-income ratio of more than 120% over the past two years.
This increase is even more pronounced among people with incomes below 200% of the poverty level.
For example, in the past six months alone, CreditCells.com reported that only 17% of consumers with debt-service ratios of 100% or higher have a non-payable account.
As a result, those who do not pay bills are increasingly opting for the traditional debit card or cash.
What can you do?
First, take a look at your credit report to see if you have a good credit score and if you’re eligible for a credit card.
If you do, Creditcards.com recommends you get a statement to ensure you have an adequate amount of available credit.
Another thing to consider is the availability of credit, which is calculated by the amount of money you have in your checking account.
If the bank offers a free check, credit card or a debit card, it can help you pay off your debt faster.
If you’re a student, it’s even more important to stay out of debt.
The Federal Reserve is encouraging banks to offer higher-rate loans to help lower-income Americans pay off their student loans.
Creditcards is also offering a free loan for students with a household income below $30,000.
For more consumer advice, check out our consumer guide, “How to Pay Off Debt in 7 Steps,” which will help you determine if a payment plan is right for you.