Financial Literacy - Credit savvy
credit cards
Americans dislike credit cards

Yet 18 percent of Americans feel the opposite, saying that credit card companies are entitled to change the terms of their accounts at any time, which factually is the case and will be for another year and a half.

Not-so-sanguine sentiments
People who strongly or somewhat agree with these statements:Total
Credit card companies should be more closely regulated92%
Credit cards make it too easy for American consumers to spend more than they earn90%
Taxpayers should bail out consumers who find themselves in a big financial bind due to credit card debt21%
Credit card companies are entitled to change the terms of your account at any time for any reason18%

"They can do it, and everybody should know it by now," says Steve Bucci, Bankrate.com's Debt Adviser and president of Money Management International Financial Education Foundation.

"The surprise to me here is that anyone would strongly agree that credit card companies should be able to change your terms for any reason," says Peterson.

But he's not surprised by the high numbers of people who believe credit card companies should be more closely regulated.

"Quite frankly, the credit card companies probably pushed the way that they change interest rates and charge penalties further than people feel is fair," Peterson says.

Does credit make it too easy to spend?

Ninety percent of those surveyed say that credit cards make it too easy for American consumers to spend more than they earn.

Young folks' sense of entitlement
Credit cards make it too easy for American consumers to spend more than they earn.Total18-24
year olds
Strongly or somewhat agree90%67%
Strongly or somewhat disagree10%33%

Interestingly, one age category took issue with that statement more than other generations: 33 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds somewhat or strongly disagreed that credit cards make it too easy for consumers to spend.

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One might think that they were strongly in favor of personal responsibility, but a later question belies that assumption. Bankrate's Debt Adviser Bucci suggests that a sense of entitlement is actually what drove their answers.

 

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Balance Transfer Cards 15.77%  0.06 15.71%
Cash Back Cards 16.48%  0.07 16.41%
Low Interest Cards 10.96%  0.10 10.86%
 
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