Credit Card Debt Survey Interview with KCBS Radio San Francisco
CreditCards.com Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Monday, July 27, 2015, with Stan Bunger and Susan Leigh Taylor of KCBS Radio San Francisco about the July 2015 Credit Card Debt survey. The interview and transcript are below.
Susan Leigh Taylor: Stan, turns out folks living the Bay Area have the nation’s lowest credit card debt burden. A new study from CreditCards.com says on average Bay Area residents could pay off their debt in just nine months. For more on this story we turned to the KCBS Ring Central Newsline where we’re joined by Matt Schulz, a senior analyst with Bankrate.com. Mr. Schulz, thanks for joining us this morning. What are the reasons behind this, do we know?
Matt Schulz: Well, it’s really all about earnings because San Francisco, the Bay Area ranks second among the 25 largest U.S. cities in terms of earnings and 16th in terms of credit card debt. So when you factor in just how much they earn, it makes it a whole lot easier to pay off that credit card debt.
Stan Bunger: Do we see any evidence that people who make more money behave any differently with their credit cards than those who earn less?
Schulz: Well, there are some different behaviors. You might find people with higher income perhaps chasing frequent flier miles a little bit more and having the luxury being able to pay a $100 annual fee in order to get things like airport lounge access or free checked bags and that sort of thing. But by and large as a country we’re moving farther and farther away from carrying a balance and having more and more people pay that balance off at the end of every month so that’s a good thing.
Taylor: And what’s caused that change?
Schulz: That’s a good question. I think that some of it might just be the impact of the Great Recession on people because it’s not that far in the rearview mirror, but it’s obviously made a major impact on people’s psyche as far as how they handle their money.
Bunger: So in looking at the big picture, do we see a change in the number of people who carry a balance from month to month, the size of that balance when tracked over the years?
Schulz: Well, overall credit card debt is growing, just as people have gotten more comfortable in their jobs, the economy’s going a little better, but we have found more people are paying their balance off at the end of every month, and that’s a positive sign.
Bunger: Appreciate your time this morning. We have been talking live with Matt Schulz, Senior Analyst with Bankrate.com.