Here is a brief summary of the study’s findings:
Over 61% of the respondents did not monitor credit regularly
Although AnnualCreditReport.com is a free credit reporting service where consumers can obtain one free credit report every year, over 61% of respondents did not use the site to obtain their free annual credit report. Only 19% of the study participants used the site every year, while 14% did so every few years. 90% were not enrolled in a paid credit monitoring plan.
Nearly 59% did not track bonuses and rewards points
Lured by travel rewards, percentage bonuses, and other rewards many individuals apply for credit cards in the hopes of gaining discounts and perks. Yet, nearly 59% of the respondents left the tracking and monitoring to credit card companies. This could be a cause of concern if there are important dates, redemption deadlines, and expiration policies associated with the account.
90% did not utilize the opportunity to cut credit card interest rates
Over 90% of the respondents said they either did not transfer at all or transferred less than $5,000 of outstanding balances to lower interest rate credit cards. This represents a lost opportunity to lower interest rates and monthly credit card expenses.
Nil response when it came to actively negotiating interest rates
“It used to be much easier to negotiate credit card rates until recently, and although these days it is very hard to obtain a reduction many companies will work with you if your situation is unique,” says Thakkar. DontSpendMore.com’s research did not find any respondent who had actively worked with a credit card company to lower interest rates.
Not all findings were discouraging, though. Some positive findings include:
Improving trend in paying credit card bills
Only 5% make minimum payments while over 69% pay either in full or as much as possible.
Reduction in spending
Also, total 2012 annual credit card spending per individual was less than $5,000 for over 61% of the respondents.
Borrowers are diligent when it comes to reading credit card statements
37% spent between two and ten minutes to analyze their monthly credit card statements and 59% verified the accuracy of the numbers.
DontSpendMore.com is a free site that helps consumers save hundreds of dollars every month on credit cards, cell phone plans, insurance, loans, mortgages, long distance, and more.
Media Contact: Nimish Thakkar, CEO