Credit cards: Trimming back
As a result of the credit squeeze, consumers are learning to live with lower balances and fewer credit cards, says Ted Jenkin, a Certified Financial Planner and co-CEO of oXYGen Financial Inc., a financial services company based in Alpharetta, Ga.
People also are racking up less credit card debt, and they're paying down balances and trying to save money for emergencies, he says.
"I'm seeing a lot of people get rid of their multiple store-brand cards and instead, they're choosing to have just one or two major brand credit cards (such as Visa, MasterCard or American Express)" says Jenkin.
He adds that many store-brand cards tend to have higher interest rates, with some charging an annual percentage rate, or APR, of more than 20 percent. Frugal cardholders who have lower APRs and carry less debt will pay less in interest and save money in the long run, says Jenkin.